Gudeta to take on Chepngetich at Istanbul Half


Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya breaks the course record in women's race at the Dubai ...
Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya breaks the course record in women's race at the Dubai Marathon. (PHOTO/Courtesy/Gulf News)

In Summary

  • World champion Netsanet Gudeta will be the headline act at the Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon, on Sunday
  • The 28-year-old Ethiopian set the women's-only race world record at the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia last year, clocking 1:06:11

World champion Netsanet Gudeta will be the headline act at the Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Ethiopian set the women’s-only race world record at the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia last year, clocking 1:06:11.

But she’s run even faster since, clocking 1:05:45 to equal the Ethiopian national record at the RAK Half on 8 February, where she finished second. More recently, she ran 1:06:49 at the Bahrain Night Half Marathon on 15 March to finish third.

She’ll face Ruth Chepngetich, who set the Istanbul course record of 1:06:19 in 2017. She was second in the Bahrain race last month, clocking 1:06:09 to clip ten seconds from her personal best. Chepngetich began 2019 with a bang, winning January’s Dubai Marathon in 2:17:08 to become the third fastest marathoner in history.

Other standouts include Ethiopians Bekelech Gudeta and Helen Tola, who have 1:07:03 and 1:07:47 lifetime bests to their credit; and Kenyan Delvine Meringor, another sub-1:08 runner.

The men’s field includes five men with sub-60 minute credentials.

The fastest of those is Guye Idemo Adola of Ethiopia, whose 59:06 best came in New Delhi back in 2014. But he’s gotten off to a decent start in 2019, winning the Roma-Ostia Half Marathon last month in 1:00:17.

He’ll be backed up by compatriots Amdework Walelegn, who clocked 59:22 in New Delhi last year, and set the Istanbul course record last year in 59:50.

Aziz Lahbabi of Morocco also has solid credentials, with a 59:25 lifetime best from 2014.

Kenya’s fastest entrant is Peter Kwemoi, a 59:58 man who won this year’s Verona Half Marathon.

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