World marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei also beats old global mark but finishes a distant second behind Yeshaneh’s 64:31
Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh stormed to a world record-breaking victory at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Friday morning, beating Kenya’s world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei with her historic winning time of 64:31.
The fact that Kosgei finished 18 seconds behind but was still inside the previous world record set by Joyciline Jepkosgei is further proof of just how impressive Yeshaneh’s time is.
Jepkosgei had clocked her record 64:51 in Valencia in 2017.
In Ras Al Khaimah Kosgei had led, running behind pacemaker Geoffrey Pyego, and 5km was passed in 15:07 before further 5km splits of 15:11 and 15:23.
Only Yeshaneh remained with them at this point but over the next couple of miles the Ethiopian started to pull away.
She covered her second 10km split in 30:54 and went on to cross the finishing line in 64:31 to turn the tables on Kosgei, who had beaten her to Chicago Marathon victory in October when the Kenyan broke the world record with her winning time of 2:14:04 ahead of Yeshaneh’s 2:20:51.
Kenya’s Rosemary Wanjiru finished third in 65:34 for the fastest ever debut women’s half-marathon, with the next five women to finish also going sub-67 minutes.
“I didn’t imagine this result,” said Yeshaneh. “I am a world record-holder!”
ababel birhane set the new half marathon world record 64.31!!
Kosgei in 2nd place 64.48 under the previous world record 🔥🔥🔥
— RAK Half Marathon (@rakhalfmarathon) February 21, 2020
Kosgei said: “Even if I did not win, I’m happy for this great race with Ababel. She is a friend and we have the same manager, so I’m very happy also for her.
“A good result to continue on my way to the London Marathon in April.”
Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie won the men’s race in 58:58, finishing 18 seconds ahead of his compatriot Alexander Mutiso.
The pacemaker had taken the leaders through 5km in 14:03 before 10km was passed in 28:07.
Munyao led through 15km in 42:01 but recent Kenyan cross-country champion Kandie came through to eventually win with a 21-second PB.
Ethiopia’s London Marathon third-placer Mule Wasihun was third in 59:47.
European record-holder Julien Wanders was 11th in 60:46.