Athletics

Kibiwott Kandie smashes half marathon world record, a Kenyan double in Valencia marathon

All top four finishers in the half marathon managed to beat the previous mark of 58:01 set by Geoffrey Kamworor last year. Evans Chebet and Peres Jepchirchir win the men and women's marathon in course records.

By ZK Goh and Evelyn Watta ·

Kibiwott Kandie led Jacob Kiplimo home in world record time to win the Valencia Half Marathon on Sunday in a reverse of the World Championship result from October.

Kandie, Kiplimo, Rhonex Kipruto, and Alexander Mutiso all finished the race in under 58 minutes, bettering the existing record of 58:01 set by Geoffrey Kamworor in Copenhagen in September 2019.

Kenya's Kandie finished in 57:32, taking more than a minute off his previous personal record of 58:37. Ugandan Kiplimo and Kandie's compatriot Mutiso also lowered their own personal bests by similar margins, while it was Kipruto's debut over the distance.

The new record is subject to World Athletics' usual ratification processes.

It is the fourth time Kandie has run sub-59 minutes this year, having also done so at the Ras Al Khaimah, Prague, and Gdynia half marathons.

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia won the women's race in a course record one hour, five minutes 18 seconds, missing the women's world record in a mixed race (1:04.31) currently held by Ababel Yeshaneh who set it in RAK earlier this year.

It was Dibaba's first race in 16 months, since last August, and her debut over the half marathon distance.

Kenyan double in the marathon

Kenya’s Evans Chebet sprinted past compatriot Lawrence Cherono in the home stretch to win the Valencia marathon in a course record of 2:03:00.

The men’s race was a close one with Chebet and Cherono going head to head in the final kilometre after dropping Ethiopia’s Birhanu Legese, the 2019 Tokyo marathon champion.

This was the first big marathon win for the 32-year-old Chebet that moves him to sixth in the men’s marathon all-time list.

Chebet’s victory also ensured that a Kenyan topped the podium again for the 18th time in the last 40 editions of the Valencia Marathon.

“I am happy because I have run my personal best here," said Chebet after the race.

"I know this course very well. I am happy because it’s my first major win and in a course record,” said the Kenyan who finished 28th at the Rio 2016 marathon, delighted and hopeful that his top finish could impress Athletics Kenya selectors for the Tokyo Olympics.

Evans Chebet of Kenya won the Men’s Marathon in Valencia with a course Record.

The reigning Boston and Chicago Marathon champion Cherono who had a slight stumble in the last bend clocked 2:03:04 for second, in his third big marathon in the last 18 months.

Legese finished third in 2:03:16, in the race that saw eight of the top 10 finishers record personal bests.

Cherono, 32, was named by Athletics Kenya in Kenya’s provisional Tokyo Olympics marathon team alongside the Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge and World Championships marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto.

Double Olympian Ayad Lamdassem set a Spanish men's marathon record of 2:06:35 that qualifies him for the Games in Tokyo.

Just seven weeks after winning the World Half Marathon title in a world record, Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya won the women’s race in 2:17:16, also a course record.

“It’s unbelievable,“ said Jepchirchir, a double world half marathon gold medallist.

It was the perfect ending of the season for Jepchirchir who holds the world record for the women-only of 1:05:16 from her winning run in Poland on 17 October.

In Gdynia she improved her own 21km world mark from the previous month set in Prague, and is now the fifth fastest women marathoner.

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya wins the Women’s Marathon in Valencia with a Course Record.

It was another 1-2 finish for Kenya as Joyciline Jepkosgei clocked 2:18:40 for second ahead of third placed Namibian record holder Helalia Johannes, the 2019 World Championships bronze medallist. Johannes crossed the line in 2:19:52.