Athletics

Kamworor retains world half marathon title

Geoffrey Kamworor (Gallo Images)
Geoffrey Kamworor (Gallo Images)

Cardiff - Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor retained his IAAF World Half Marathon title with victory on the streets of Cardiff on Saturday despite slipping at the start.

Kamworor recovered to win in a championship record time time of 59 minutes 10 seconds, ahead of compatriot Bedan Karoki.

Britain's Mo Farah, the reigning 5 000m and 10 000m Olympic champion, finished third in 59:59 after outsprinting Ethiopia's Abayneh Ayele in the home straight.

That wet and windy conditions in the Welsh capital would prove difficult for the runners was evident when Kamworor, beaten to the world 10 000m title by Farah in Beijing last year, slipped soon after the starter's gun was fired.

That left his knees both bruised and bloodied but he recovered in style to finish well clear of Karoki, second in 59:36.

Farah's time was the fastest by a European this year and he was relatively happy with his performance in a race that was part of his preparation for the defence of his Olympic titles at the Rio Games in August.

"With great support from the home crowd it would have been nice to come away with a win, but a better athlete won on the day," Farah told the BBC.

"The guys were strong, they went for it and I just couldn't quite go with it.

"It was an incredible pace, I looked at the 10km pace and they were just going for it, then for quite a bit of it I was on my own.

"It is a fast time, but as an athlete you always want to win," he added.

Looking ahead to the Olympics, Farah - who double gold on home soil at London 2012 - said: "Rio is definitely the aim.

"The guys are going to be strong in Rio, so I am going to work hard and this has just given me massive motivation."

Kenya were even more commanding in the women's race, where Peres Jepchirchir led a clean sweep of the podium.

She won in a time of 67:31, with Cynthia Limo second in 67:34 and Mary Wacera Ngugi ensuring a Kenyan monopoly of medals in the event when she finished third in a time of 67:54.

RESULTS

1. Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) 59:10
2. Bedan Karoki Muchiri (Kenya) 59:36
3. Mohamed Farah (Britain) 59:59
4. Abayneh Ayele (Ethiopia) 59:59
5. Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) 1:00:06
6. Simon Cheprot (Kenya) 1:00:12
7. Abrar Osman (Eritrea) 1:00:58
8. Mule Wasihum (Ethiopia) 1:01:11
9. Edwin Kiprop Kiptoo (Kenya) 1:01:21
10. Stephen Mokoka (South Africa) 1:01:27

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