women

Jepchirchir wins women only half-marathon in record time

Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir lowered her own world record for an all-women’s half marathon at the world championships in Gdynia on Saturday. 

The 27-year-old, who also won world half marathon gold in 2016, produced a final sprint to take the title in 1hr 05min 16sec.

That bettered the previous best set by Jepchirchir herself in Prague on September 5 of 1hr 05min 34sec.

She came home just two seconds clear of Germany’s Melat Yisak Kejeta, who smashed the European women-only record to take silver in 1hr 05min 18secs, with Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw a further second behind.

On a cold and windy morning, a group of favourites broke away early during the four-lap race but three of them suffered falls to disappear from contention.

Defending champion Netsanet Gudeta’s race almost came to an abrupt stop as the leaders took a 90-degree turn on to the seafront, the defending champion taking a fall and losing several seconds to the leaders. 

It was a gap she would never close, the Ethiopian slipping farther behind during the third lap.

Turkey’s Yasemin Can led a group of seven through 10km in 30mins 47sec after which Jepchirchir began to take control.

The Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh, world record holder in a mixed race (1hr 04min 31sec), then tangled with Joyciline Jepkosgei and both crashed to the ground, leaving Jepchirchir, Kejeta and Yehualaw to battle it out in the final sprint.

kn/bsp/nr 

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