Jepchirchir breaks own women’s-only half marathon record

World Athletics Half Marathon Championships
Athletics - World Athletics Half Marathon Championships - Gdynia, Poland - October 17, 2020 Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir celebrates after winning gold and breaking the women-only world record REUTERS/Rafal Oleksiewicz

October 17, 2020

Gydnia, POLAND (Reuters) – Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir bettered the women’s-only half marathon world record when she took gold in a closely-fought race at the World Athletics half marathon championships in Gdynia on Saturday.

Jepchirchir, 27, finished in a time of one hour, five minutes and 16 seconds to improve her own mark set in Prague last month, claiming the title for the second time having won it in Cardiff in 2016.

Germany’s Melat Yisak Kejeta crossed the line two seconds behind to take silver while Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw was third a further second adrift.

Uganda’s 19-year-old Jacob Kiplimo won the men’s race with a championship record time of 58 minutes and 49 seconds to upset Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie who took silver. Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn finished third.

Kandie was the fastest man over the distance this year having run 58:38 in Prague last month.

Kiplimo’s compatriot Joshua Cheptegei, who holds both the 5,000m and 10,000m world records, finished in a time of 59:21 on his half marathon debut to earn fourth place.

The event was originally scheduled for March but was postponed to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)