Who will shine in Poland?

Monday, October 12th, 2020 00:00 |
Kibiwott Kandie and Peres Jepchirchir.

It is only five days to another blockbuster 24th edition of the 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland,  and fans from around the world will be waiting with bated breath to watch the best distance runners  battle it out in the biennial event.

 People Sport takes a look at some of the elite athletes in the field.

Kibiwott Kandie

Fresh from running a world lead in half marathon with victory in 58:38 in Prague, Czech, on September 6, Kandie will lead the men’s team. 

The athlete from the Kenya Defence Forces swept to victory at Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates in February a week after he stunned favourite Geoffrey Kamworor to win the national cross country championship. 

Leonard Barsoton

The 2017 world cross country championships silver medallist finished sixth in Ras Al Khaimah in February.

 He, however, tore up the rule book at the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K in  2019 as he set a new event record for the World Athletics Silver Label Road Race – the only 25km race in the world with such a distinction. 

Bernard Ng’eno

The Sotik-based runner went to the 2019 Istanbul Half Marathon as a pacesetter but went ahead to win the race.

 The 22-year-old  who holds a personal best of 59:22 , began 2019 in promising fashion, finishing fifth at the Houston Half Marathon with 61:20.

Bernard Kimeli

Kimeli defended his title at the 21st Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon last year where he  clocked a personal best of 13:16.61and become the second man in the history of  the race to win twice in a row.

 In July, he held off compatriot Bedan Karoki in the home straight after leading almost the entire way to win the Fukagawa Kokuren Distance Challenge men’s 10,000m in a world leading time. In January, Kimeli also claimed silver at Valencia 10km road race in 27:12.

Joshua Cheptegei

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei broke the men’s 10,000m world record with an astonishing 26:11.02 on Wednesday 7 at the NN Running Team Valencia World Record Day.

 Cheptegei smashed legendary Kenenisa Bekele’s 10,000m World record of 26:17:53 that had stood since 2005 by 6.53 seconds just 54 days after he had broken Bekele’s 5,000m world record at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco. 

Jacob Kiplimo

He won the 5,000m at the World Athletics Continental Tour meeting in Ostrava with a PB of 12:48.63 and then went on to triumph over 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rome in a world-leading 7:26.64, breaking the Uganda’s national  record and becoming the fastest teenager in history for the distance.

 Peres Jepchirchir

 Jepchirchir holds the women’s only half marathon world record of 1:05:34, a feat she achieved after winning the Prague Half Marathon on September 5.

The 26-year-old clocked 1:05:34 over 16.5 laps of Letna Park’s oval course to obliterate Netsanet Gudeta’s previous best mark of 1:06:11 set at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships. 

 Brilliant Jepkorir

Jepkorir (1:07:12), who settled second at Houston Half Marathon in February, is the winner of the 2019 Beyond Zero Half Marathon. Jepkorir represented Kenya in the 2011 World Cross Country Championships where she finished ninth.

Dorcas Jepchumba

She was placed third in the women’s half marathon in the 2020 Barcelona Half Marathon 2020. 

Joyciline Jepkosgei

Jepkosgei claimed silver (1:06:54) as Ethiopian Netsanet Gudeta went for gold in women’s only half marathon world record time of 1:06:11.

She obliterated a big field to win the New York City Marathon last year in 2:22.38, just seven seconds off the women’s marathon course record where she  was voted the 2019 New York Road Runners Pro Performer of the Year.

 In 2017, Jepkosgei smashed the world half marathon record to become the first woman to run 21km in under 65 minutes. Brigid Kosgei later broke her record as she set 64.28 minutes.

Rosemary Wanjiru

 Wanjiru (1:05:34), finished third at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February.

She was also victorious over 10,000m in July in Abashiri at the Hokuren Distance Challenge series to win in 30:38.18, just three seconds shy of the PB.

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