IAAF ratifies Jepchirchir half marathon world record

IAAF ratifies Jepchirchir half marathon world record
Peres Jepchirchir crosses the line to win the women's race of the 2017 RAK in the UAE where she set a world record. PHOTO/Organisers

Governing body, the IAAF on Friday ratified the world records ran by Peres Jepchirchir at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on the 10th of last month in the United Arab Emirates.

Jepchirchir ran through the 20 kilometre mark at one hour, one minute and 40 seconds before completing the 21 kilometre distance in one hour, five minutes and six seconds to break the previous standards held by compatriot Florence Kiplagat by 14 and three seconds in that order.

Kiplagat, a two-time Berlin Marathon champion crossed 20km in 1:01:54 and stopped the timer at 1:05:09 to break her own record at the Barcelona Half Marathon in 2015.

Jepchirchir who is also the World Half Marathon became the third woman in history to break the 67 minutes barrier and she took home took home $50,000 (Ksh 5,182,500) for the win, plus $100,000 (Ksh10,365,000) for breaking the world record, a fact she was unaware of until broadcaster Rob Walker broke the news to her on air after the race.

Jepchirchir tore the fast course to lead a Kenyan 1-4, beating former record holder Mary Keitany (1:05:13) who was only a second outside the previous record to the honours with Joyciline Jepkosgei (1:06:08) sealing the podium.

Keitany, the three-time New York and twice London marathon titleholder became the first woman in history to go under 67 minutes when she ran 1:05:50 at the same race in 2011 that erased Kenyan born Dutch runner, Lornah Kiplagat’s 1:06:25 standard ran way back in 2007 from record books.

Jepchirchir, 23, broke the world record to defeat Keitany as they waged an epic duel in a race that featured arguably the greatest women’s half marathon field ever assembled.

Each of Jepchirchir’s 5k splits in the 21.1 km/13.1 mile race were faster than the previous as she ran 15:37 for the first 5km segment, then 15:27, 15:24 and 15:10 from 15k to 20k to finally drop Keitany.

Olympics marathon winner, Jemimah Jelagat Sumgong (1:06:43) finished just outside the medals with Ethiopian track star and two-time Olympics champion, Tirunesh Dibaba (1:06:50) rounding the top five ahead of Beijing 2015 World Championships bronze winner, Helah Kirop (1:07:48) in sixth.

The star-studded race witnessed six Kenyans clinch top-ten finishes with former world junior champion, Veronica Nyaruai (1:09:33) in ninth a place behind Kenyan born Bahraini runner Rose Chelimo (1:08:37).

The women mile world indoor record ran by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba who ran four minutes, 13.31 seconds in Stockholm Sweden as well as the men 1000m standard of two minutes, 14.20 seconds ran by Djibouti’s Ayanleh Suleiman were also ratified by the IAAF on Friday.

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Story By Mutwiri Mutuota
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