(Reuters) – Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey smashed the women’s half marathon world record on Sunday, finishing in one hour, two minutes and 52 seconds at the Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP.
The 23-year-old Gidey, who is also the world 5,000 metres (14:06.62) and 10,000 metres (29:01.03) record-holder, shaved more than a minute off the previous half marathon mark of 1:04:02 set by Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich this year.
“I’m so happy to break the world record in my first half marathon and my first race for the NN Running Team. Gracias Valencia,” Gidey, the Tokyo Olympics 10,000 metres bronze medallist, said.
Her 10 kilometre split was 29:45 minutes, around 35 seconds better than the pace of Chepngetich when she set the record, and she steadily improved in sunny conditions to cruise to victory.
In the men’s race, Kenya’s Abel Kipchumba made a late charge to win in 58:07 minutes, moving him to sixth on the world all-time list.
Fellow Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto was second in 58:09 and Daniel Mateiko was third in 58:26 as the top seven men finished the World Athletics Elite Label road race inside 59 minutes.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)