New Delhi: The organisers of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Thursday said they were “mulling” to shift the event to a new window sighting alarming pollution levels in the capital. “There is a possibility to shift this event to a new window… may be we will organise the event earlier or later. We have the option of the alternative window. We will discuss with our stakeholders and see which will the best window for the event,” said Vivek Singh, joint managing director of the Procam International, the organisers of the event here on Thursday.
A few days back, title sponsors Airtel had threatened to pull out of the annual event after supporting the same for the past nine years but on the day, they came out in its support. “As always, we will continue to support the event. It is great to see the fantastic response to the call for registration for ADHM,” said Ravi Negi, CEO of Bharti Airtel Delhi NCR.
Singh though was hopeful that the event will remain in the capital despite facing recurring problem of severe air pollution. Asked how the overseas athletes were viewing the situation since visibility levels are low and there is a health risk too, Singh said, “All foreign participants are aware of the situation and will participate. Last year, Rio Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge won the event in almost similar conditions and returned without complains.
“To reduce the pollutants, roads will be sprayed and treated with salt water and all vehicles will be off roads 12 hours prior to the event, and hopefully improved air conditions will bring better running experience for the participants.” The Indian Medical Association had called for cancellation of the event a few days back but Singh said the event will go on as planned. “They have issued a warning and they are right. It is a concern but we still have 10 days to go and air quality might improve. You cannot cancel an international event so easily.”