Athletics

Pure magic as Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich smashes half marathon world record

Ruth Chepngetich. (Getty Images)
Ruth Chepngetich. (Getty Images)

Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich smashed the women's half marathon world record on Sunday in a time of one hour four minutes and two seconds in Istanbul.

The marathon world champion from Doha 2019 sliced almost half a minute off the previous mark of 1hr 4:31 set by Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh in February 2020 in the United Arab Emirates.

Chepngetich, 26, was followed across the line in Turkey by Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw (1hr 4:40) with Kenya's two-time world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri third in 1hr 4:51.

This was the first time three women have finished inside 65 minutes in one half marathon.

Chepngetich pulled clear of Yehualaw in the final stages to seal her place in the record books and win the race for a third time, following 2017 and 2019.

A strong early pace was set chiefly by Brigid Kosgei, the Kenyan marathon record holder, who eventually came in fifth, almost two minutes adrift.

Chepngetich covered the first 10km in 30:21, maintaining her rhythm to the line despite the wet conditions.

Her compatriot and world record-holder Kibiwott Kandie won the men's race in a course record of 59min 35sec.

This was well short of his world best mark of 57:32 established in Valencia in December.

The former world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor took second, three seconds behind with Roncer Kipkorir (59:46) completing an all-Kenyan podium.

Kandie, the world half-marathon silver medallist, had enough in the tank to hold off Kamworor inside the final kilometre.

He lowered by 15sec the course record set in 2018 by Amdework Walelegn, who crossed in fourth on Sunday.

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