If a Kenyan Olympic champion can risk his lungs by running in a city with severe pollution, so can the people of Delhi. This is the message the 2016 Delhi Half Marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge wanted to give Indians, PTI reported.

“The first reason that I came here is to run in a city that is polluted, to inspire a whole generation, a country to take up sports,” the Rio Olympics gold medalist said, after winning the $270,000 event. “In this way, the Indians can train openly in the morning, afternoon and there is no harm. If you train well, the job is done,” he added.

“I came here purely for running in a polluted city. For the past four days that I’m here, I’ve been reading on Twitter about the pollution scare, but I told them it’s not an issue. One of them told me, ‘I don’t allow my kids to run for more than an hour’. I showed them that its okay by running for an hour today,” the Kenyan said.

The other two podium finishers also remained unaffected by the pollution, both recording new personal best timings. But the Indian athletes complained about irritation due to the pollution.
“The pollution level caused a little irritation in the eye,” said Mohammed Yunus, who finished second in the elite Indian men’s category. “The pollution level was 2-3% more than last year. People burst too many crackers this time on Diwali,” he added.