Tag Archives: Hawi Feysa

Hellen Obiri targets the podium at Istanbul Half Marathon

Double world champion, Hellen Obiri will be making her comeback at the 44th edition of the Istanbul Half Marathon that will be held on March 27, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The 31 year-old made her half marathon debut here in 2020 where she ran an exceptional time of 1:04.51 that made her the fourth-fastest Kenyan of all-time over the distance.

Obiri has gained experience in half marathon running since her debut. She has put her focus on road races, she won the Great North Run in last September with a time of 1:07.42 and recently she displayed her great form when she finished second at the Ras Al Khaimah half marathon that was held last month, where she also improved on her personal best to 1:04.22.

The World Cross Country Champion is now ranked the fifth fastest half marathon runner of all time. “I am so happy to be returning to Istanbul. I ran my half marathon debut in this race last year and I hope I can improve both my position and my time on this occasion,” Obiri said.

The race organizers have lined up for Ethiopians who have personal best of sub 1:07.00 that will also face Obiri in the coming three weeks time.

The 2021 Copenhagen half marathon champion, Tsehay Gemechu leads the four athletes as she comes to this race with the second fastest time on paper of 1:05.08.

The 23 year-old has an impressive half marathon record with four wins out of five races. Hawi Feysa was second behind Gemechu in Copenhagen in September, when she ran a personal best of 1:05.41 in her debut.

Nigsti Haftu and Bekelech Gudeta are the other title contenders and they come to this race with their personal best of 1:06.17 and 1:06.54. Haftu got her all time best at last year’s Valencia Half Marathon where she finished in sixth place while Gudeta got her lifetime best at this race in last year’s edition where she finished in position seven.

The two times Olympic 5000m silver medallist is ready to battle the four and she is looking forward to the challenge on the flat course.

“My training has been going on well but I know it will be a tough challenge as the field is very strong. I look forward to an exciting race in a beautiful city, “said Obiri.

The four athletes have been put together by the race organizer to chase the race course record of 1:04.02 that was set last year by Ruth Chepngetich from Kenya. This time still stands as the world record because it has been ratified by the World Athletics.

The current world half marathon record holder is Letesenbet Gidey from Ethiopia who broke the previous mark by more than a minute in 2021 in Valencia.

Letesenbet Gidey and Yalemzerf Yehualaw target world half marathon record in Valencia

The Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso EDP witnessed a men’s world record last year as Kibiwott Kandie ran a stunning 57:32. This time the women’s world record is the target and organisers have assembled a star-studded line-up for the World Athletics Elite Label road race on Sunday (24).

Ethiopians Letesenbet Gidey and Yalemzerf Yehualaw will clash in a long-awaited showdown. Gidey is the world 5000m and 10,000m record-holder, while Yehualaw ran 1:03:44 in August, and although that time will not be ratified as a world half marathon record the two athletes will now go head-to-head in Valencia as they target the 1:04:02 run by Ruth Chepngetich in Istanbul in April, a mark which is pending world record ratification.

The 23-year-old Gidey has competed sparingly this year but managed to set a world 10,000m record by running 29:01.03 in Hengelo before claiming bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.

While the diminutive Yehualaw is an accomplished half marathon specialist, with nine outings over the last three seasons, Gidey will tackle the distance for the first time but her impressive 44:20 world best for the 15km set in Nijmegen in 2019 suggests she might become the first debutante to set a world record for the distance.

Reportedly, each of the Ethiopian aces will be joined by their respective pacemakers – Mebrahtu Kiros and Genetu Molalign – in a battle which promises to be fierce, while the organisers will provide an official pacemaker for the rest of the elite targeting a 1:05 clocking.

That second group looks set to be led by Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi, the winner in 2019 thanks to a 1:05:32 time; her compatriot Hawi Feysa, fresh from a 1:05:41 PB in Copenhagen last month; Sheila Chepkirui, runner-up last year in a career best of 1:05:39; and her fellow Kenyan Brenda Jepleting, a 1:06:52 performer.

After last year’s climax, when no fewer than four men ran inside the then world record of 58:01, one of them – Rhonex Kipruto – will be the marquee athlete this time.

The Kenyan star, who clocked a 57:49 debut last year, also excelled in Valencia in January 2020 when he set the world 10km record of 26:24. He couldn’t place higher than ninth at the Tokyo Olympics over 10,000m but proved to be in top form in September when he recorded 26:43 at a 10km road race in Herzogenaurach.

While a men’s world record assault is not planned on this occasion, the pacemakers are set to go through the opening 10km in 27:30 on the hunt for a sub-58:00 finish time. In addition to Kipruto, Sunday’s field includes another four Kenyan athletes with PBs under 59 minutes: Philemon Kiplimo, who was fifth last year in Valencia in a career best of 58:11, plus Kelvin Kiptum (58:42), Abel Kipchumba (58:48) and Felix Kipkoech (58:57). Yet Kipruto’s toughest opposition might come from the two-time world 5000m champion Muktar Edris.

The 27-year-old Ethiopian posted a promising debut over the distance last November by clocking 59:04 in New Delhi and should play a key role on Sunday, while the European challenge will be headed by Norway’s Sondre Moen and Spain’s Carlos Mayo.

Weather forecasters predict an ideal morning for running, with a 13ºC temperature and a very slight breeze. After the four records set in Valencia last year – the men’s 10km, half marathon and 10,000m, plus the women’s 5000m – the city could witness another world best on Sunday.

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