Peres Jepchirchir broke her own world record in the women’s half marathon, crossing the line in one hour, five minutes and 16 seconds to win gold at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.
The 27-year-old Kenyan beat her previous best by 18 seconds, set in Prague on September 5, narrowly edging out Germany’s Melat Kejeta by just two seconds. Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia was just a further second back to take bronze in an extraordinarily close race.
It was Jepchirchir’s second half marathon world title, having previously claimed gold in 2016.
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In the men’s race, 19-year-old Jacob Kiplimo upset the field to take gold in a championship record time of 58 minutes and 49 seconds. The Ugandan edged out Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn, who finished second and third respectively.
Track star Joshua Cheptegei, who last week smashed the 10,000-meter world record, was making his half-marathon debut and finished fourth in 59 minutes and 21 seconds. He also holds the 5,000-meter world record.
The championships had originally been scheduled to take place in March but were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.