Tag Archives: Delhi Half Marathon

Tsihay Gemechu smashes the Copenhagen Half Marathon record

Ethiopia’s Tsihay Gemechu set a new course record at the sixth edition of the Copenhagen Half Marathon that was held on Sunday (19) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Gemechu who defended her Delhi Half Marathon in 2020, took on the race course of 1:05.15 that had been set on in 2018 by Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands.

Gemechu finished in fourth place at the 2019 World Championships in 5000m women race shaved off almost a minute from her personal best to smash the course record in a personal best of 1:05.08

Tsehay Gemechu from Ethiopia on her way to win the 2021 Copenhagen Women Half Marathon. Photo by Organizers

Gemechu was followed by Hawi Feysa also from Ethiopia who crossed the line in second place in 1:05.41 with our home girl Vivian Kiplagat coming in third in 1:06.07.

Esther Chesang and Tabita Gichia both from Kenya finished in sixth and seventh place in 1:10.32 and 1:11.39 respectively.

LEADING RESULTS

21Km WOMEN

  1. Tsehay Gemechu (ETH) 1:05.08
  2. Hawi Feysa            (ETH) 1:05.41
  3. Vivian Kiplagat    (ETH) 1:06.07

WHO IS Yalemzerf Yehualaw?

Yalemzerf Yehualaw may only have been running internationally for the past couple of years but her journey in the sport began when she was at school.

Growing up in West Gojjam, in a village in the Amhara region of Ethiopia north of Addis Ababa, she was the eldest of six siblings and showed her talent for athletics with wins on the track, road and cross country.

Winning 3000m and 5000m youth titles, the NN Running Team has explained, saw her talent recognised and she formed part of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation Academy system in Addis Ababa.

Then in 2017 she joined coach Tessema Abshero. “Many Ethiopian athletes have a natural gift,” Abshero told the NN Running Team, “but Yalemzerf had three very good qualities; speed, endurance and good core strength.”
Yehualaw worked towards her first overseas race, which was to be the 2019 Rabat Half Marathon. There she ran 1:09:13 to win by almost three minutes and then she returned to Ethiopia to compete over 10,000m on the track at the Ethiopian Championships, finishing fifth in 32:21.0 in a race won by Letesenbet Gidey, who would go on to break world records in the 5000m and 10,000m.

Later that year Yehualaw secured a place on the Ethiopian team for the African Games, which meant a return to Rabat and another win as, clocking 1:10:26, she broke the Games record. Her next race was the Delhi Half Marathon, where she improved her PB to 1:06:01 before a 10km win at the Great Ethiopian Run (31:55). She brought 2019 to a close with another win, clocking 1:07:34 at the Xiamen Half Marathon in China.

The year 2020 started with a sixth-place finish at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon despite stomach problems and she continued her preparations for the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland. But the pandemic forced the global event’s postponement and Yehualaw went back to train in her home village. Groups gradually returned to training in Addis Ababa and Yehualaw’s focus remained on the World Half Marathon Championships, rescheduled for October.

Her coach believed she could win a medal there and he was right, as Yehualaw improved to a PB of 1:05:19 to get bronze, despite slipping in the closing stages, as race winner Peres Jepchirchir ran a women-only world record of 1:05.16.

Just six weeks later, Yehualaw was back in action at the Delhi Half Marathon and this time she claimed the win, again running a PB of 1:04.46 which at that time was the second-fastest ever women’s half marathon. She ended the year in style by winning the Nationale-Nederlanden San Silvestre Vallecana 10km in Madrid in 31:17.

Yehualaw picked up from where she left off in 2021, winning the 10,000m at the Olympic candidate trial competition before a return to the roads. In Istanbul in April she went quicker still in the half marathon, improving to 1:04:40 for a time which then placed her third on the world all-time list.
Her Olympic hopes were dashed when she placed fourth in the Ethiopian Trials 10,000m and did not make the team for the Games in Tokyo but she instead put her energy into her next road race – the Antrim Coast Half Marathon.
After a spell spent training in Seefeld in Austria, Yehualaw made the trip to Northern Ireland with her eye on Chepngetich’s world record mark. She remained on pace throughout the race and her dream was realized when she crossed the finish line with a time of 1:03.44 on the clock. No other woman has ever run under 64 minutes for the distance.

“I have tried twice before to break the world record but it didn’t happen,” she said on the live BBC stream. “I’m so happy it happened today in Larne.”

STATS

World half marathon record progression (mixed)

1:06:44 Elana Meyer (RSA) Tokyo 1999
1:06:25 Lornah Kiplagat (NED) Udine 2007
1:05:50 Mary Keitany (KEN) Ras Al Khaimah 2011
1:05:12 Florence Kiplagat (KEN) Barcelona 2014
1:05:09 Florence Kiplagat (KEN) Barcelona 2015
1:05:06 Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) Ras Al Khaimah 2017
1:04:52 Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) Prague 2017
1:04:51 Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) Valencia 2017
1:04:31 Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) Ras Al Khaimah 2020
1:04:02 Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) Istanbul 2021**
1:03:44 Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) Larne 2021**

World half marathon all-time list

1:03:44 Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) Larne 2021
1:04:02 Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) Istanbul 2021
1:04:31 Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH) Ras Al Khaimah 2020
1:04:49 Brigid Kosgei (KEN) Ras Al Khaimah 2020
1:04:51 Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) Valencia 2017
1:04:51 Hellen Obiri (KEN) Istanbul 2021
1:04:52 Fancy Chemutai (KEN) Ras Al Khaimah 2018
1:04:55 Mary Keitany (KEN) Ras Al Khaimah 2018
1:05:04 Joan Melly (KEN) Prague 2018
1:05:06 Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) Ras Al Khaimah 2017

Yalemzerf Yehualaw’s progression

(half marathon)
2019: 1:06:01
2020: 1:04:46
2021: 1:03:44

Source: keirradnedge.com/

DOPING: IAAF SUSPENDS KENYAN MARATHONER

International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF) Integrity Unit suspends Kenyan marathoner for allegedly doping.

The world governing athletics body integrity has suspended the 2006 Commonwealth Games 10,000m gold and 5000m bronze medalist Kenya’s Lucy Wangui Kabuu after testing positive for banned narcotic, morphine.

According to the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), Kabuu’s suspension was effected on August 1 after her blood samples showed presence of Morphine which is a prohibited substance under Article 2.1 of the Anti Doping rules.

“@AIU_Athletics has issued a Notice of Charge against Lucy Wangui for a violation of Article 2.1 of the Anti-Doping Rules.

The Kenyan marathon runner is has been Provisionally Suspended from all competition,” a statement on the AIU official twitter feed said on Friday afternoon.

Since 2011, the Japan based Kabuu, has competed and won at the Great North Run in England and the Delhi Half Marathon in India .

She made her marathon debut in 2012 and became the eighth fastest woman ever with a time of 2:19:34 hours for second place at the Dubai Marathon in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Before graduating into road race running, she was a team silver medal winner at the 33rd IAAF World Cross Country Championships in 2005 held at St Galmier’s Hippodrome Joseph Desjoyaux, France.