Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese wins the IAAF World Half Marathon title for the fourth successive time in a championship record 59:35 at the IAAF / EDF Energy World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham, UK.
Tadese, who ran solo throughout the second half of the race after burning off his early challengers, erased the mark of 59:56 which he held jointly with Kenya’s Shem Kororia (*)
The 27-year-old took his first world half marathon title over 20km in 2006 and his second and third over the distance in 2007 and 2008.
"I'm really happy, it was very important for me to win and take my fourth title, he said.
"The race was hard, I had to push on. Now I can have a rest and then prepare for the cross country"
"At the moment, I have no plans for a [full] marathon but in the future, yes I will run a marathon," he added.
This year, he became only the second athlete, after Kenya’s Paul Tergat, to win medals at World Championships on three different surfaces in one year. Even the great Haile Gebrselassie failed in that regard while his fellow Ethiopian and similarly great, Kenenisa Bekele, has yet to tackle the roads in a championship.
Bernard Kiprop Kipyego, from Kenya, was second (59:59) while Dathan Ritzenhein, from the United States, became the first non African-born winner of a medal in the men’s race
Kenya also took a fourth successive world road racing team title and their 12th in total (including two years, in 2006 and 2007, when the event was known as the World Road Running Championships).
With Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich fourth, in 1:00.08, and Wilson Chebet sixth, in 1:00.59, they recorded a cumulative time of 3:01.06 in the three-to-score team competition. Eritrea were second (3:02.39) and Ethiopia third (3:06.42).
Kenya's Mary Jepkosgei Keitany, the 2007 silver medallist, wins the women's race and led her country to the team title in a championship record 1:06:36 in Birmingham.
Keitany, already the fastest half marathoner in the world this year (1:07:00) posted the fastest time of her career, second to only the World record run by Lornah Kiplagat in the 2007 edition in Udine, Italy (1:06:25) in the history of these World Half Marathon Championships.
The 27-year-old, who took 2008 out to give birth to her first child, said at the press conference: "I'm really happy, it's my best ever time, so I'm so happy.
"I had trained well so I hoped to do well here; my coach is pleased I saw him at the finish. I had a baby just 1 year and 3 months ago."
Keitany receives US$30,000 for the individual victory, a share of the US$15,000 for the team title won by Kenya.
Behind Kenya in the team standings on cumulative time, with three to score, of 3:22.30. Ethiopia took silver with 3:26.14 and Russia settled for bronze with 3:31.23.
|2||257||Benard Kiprop Kipyego||KEN||59:59||.|
|4||256||Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich||KEN||1:00:08||.|
|6||254||Wilson Kwambai Chebet||KEN||1:00:59||.|
|9||267||Juan Carlos Romero||MEX||1:01:48||(PB)|
|10||258||Sammy Kirop Kitwara||KEN||1:01:59||.|
|1||37||Mary Jepkosgei Keitany||KEN||1:06:36||(CR)|
|2||39||Philes Moora Ongori||KEN||1:07:38||(PB)|
|4||38||Caroline Cheptanui Kilel||KEN||1:08:16||(PB)|
|8||36||Flomena Cheyech Daniel||KEN||1:09:44||.|
*Zersenay Tadese ran 58:59 for the half marathon distance in 2007 when the event was officially known as the World Road Running Championships and not the World Half Marathon Championships.