Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor brakes World Half Marathon record
Amos Abuga and Ericson Kiprono
Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor broke the World Half Marathon record after clocking 58:01 in Copenhagen, Denmark yesterday.
The 26-year-old Kenyan returned to the Danish capital, the scene of first of his three world half-marathon titles, in a bid to improve the world record of 58:18 set in Valencia last year by Abraham Kiptum and managed to do just that, shaving off 17 seconds.
Outside of his appearances at the World Half Marathon Championships, it was Kamworor’s first 13.1-mile race since November 2014.
His goal of breaking the world record was such an important target that he passed up the opportunity to compete at the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019.
Kamworor was part of a large group through the first five kilometres, covered in 13:53, just outside world record pace, but he upped the tempo and reached 10 kilometres in 27:34, four seconds inside his target time.
Shortly after, he was out in front alone but faced the prospect of covering the final 11 kilometres without company. It didn’t seem to faze him, though, nor did the brief heavy rain fall that occurred with 37 minutes on the clock.
He covered the next five-kilometre segment in a swift 13:31, reaching 15 kilometres in 41:05, the fastest time ever recorded for the distance and 11 seconds inside sub-58-minute pace.
His pace dropped slightly for the final quarter but he looked strong and was still operating well inside world record pace, reaching 20 kilometres in a world best of 55:00. The clock ticked over to 58 minutes just before Kamworor reached the finish line and moments later his winning mark was confirmed at 58:01.
Five other men finished inside 60 minutes with Bernard Kipkorir taking second place in 59:16 from Ethiopia’s Berehanu Wendemu Tsegu (59:22) and Edwin Kiprop Kiptoo (59:27).
“It is very emotional for me to set this record. And doing it in Copenhagen, where I won my first world title, adds something to it,” said Kamworor, who will now set his eyes on the New York Marathon on November 3.
There were seven Kenyans in the top 10 in Copenhagen as Edwin Kiptoo, Amos Kurgat, Philemon Kiplimo and Shadrack Koech clinched positions four, five, six and seven, respectively with Alfred Barkach 10th.
Ethiopian Birhane Adugna won the women’s race in 1:05:57 ahead of Kenya’s Evaline Chirchir (1:06:22), Dorcas Tuitoek (1:06:36) and Brillian Kipkoech (1:07:12) who claimed second, third and fourth positions. -Additional information from IAAF