Tag Archives: Hellen Obiri

Letesenbet Gidey: First and Only woman to hold 4 World Records simultaneously

She remains a unique women athlete on the globe, breaking all records before her as she holds four world records under her medal cabinet.

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey remains a woman of all firsts after shooting into the limelight in 2015 when she won the World Cross Country Junior Championships in Guiyang, China.

Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia Wins the World Cross Country junior title in 2015. PHOTO: Getty Images

Born and raised in the troubled Endameskel, aged 17 years, she made her name known across the globe when she won the world cross country junior title for her nation.

She went ahead to win bronze at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships behind the champion Hellen Obiri and her country mate Dera Dida.

At 21, she won silver in 10,000m at the 2019 event with her personal best of 30:21.23 in a race that was won by Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands who also ran a world lead with the late Agnes Jebet Tirop winning bronze.

In the same year Gidey went on produced again one of her fastest time ever in the Outdoor 3000m race that was held in Palo Alto, California where she set a National Record of 8:20.27.

Letesenbet Gidey destroyed women’s 15km World record at the annual Zevenheuvelenloop in Nijmegen, Netherlands. PHOTO: NN Running Team

The Ethiopian went on rampage in November 2019 setting a new world record of 44:20 in the 15K run at the Zevenheuvelenloop road race in Nijmegen, Netherlands, breaking the previous world record held by Joyciline Jepkosgei that she had set in 2017 by more than a minute, and becoming the first woman to run 15K under 45 minutes.

Having four titles as a junior, she went to 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games with a mission to be on the podium and she did with a bronze in the 10,000m behind Sifan Hassan with Bahrain’s Kalkidan Gezahegne (the current 10Km world record holder though not ratified) taking the silver.

Letesenbet Gidey Shatters 5000 World Record Valencia. PHOTO NN RUNNING TEAM

With just six years since 2015, Gidey has written her name in four world record events she smashed her first world 5,000m record during the 2020 in 14:06.62 and this summer she went ahead and shattered the world record in the 10,000 meters in Hengelo, Netherlands. She is the first woman since Ingrid Kristiansen from 1986-1993 to hold them both simultaneously.

Letesenbet Gidey poses for after breaking the world record in women’s 10,000m. PHOTO: COURTESY

Gidey obliterated the women’s half marathon world record in her debut at the distance, winning the Valencia Half Marathon Trinidad Alfonso in 1:02.52. The Ethiopian’s performance improved on the previous world record of 1:04.02 that had been set by Ruth Chepngetich in Istanbul in April—by 70 seconds. This was the third world record the 23-year-old has broken in the last year.

Gidey’s winning time of 1:02.52 marks the first time a woman has ever run faster than the 64 and 63-minute barrier for the half marathon distance.

To put Gidey’s time into perspective, according to World Athletics scoring tables, 62:02 equates to approximately a 13:50 5K, 29-minute 10K and a 2:11 marathon.

Her performance in the half-marathon surpassed both of her previous records. It also indicates that if she moves up to the marathon, she’ll be a strong contender to take down that record as well, which is currently held by Brigid Kosgei at 2:14:04.

This time shows the projections of what someone could run at different distances based on that performance. Her actual splits on that day were no less impressive, however, and she went through 5K in 15:00, sped up over the next 5K to split 29:45 for 10K and went through 15K in 44:29. This 15K time is remarkable, considering it is only nine seconds slower than her own 15K world record.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey smashes the World Half Marathon record at the Valencia Half Marathon. PHOTO: Getty Images

Hellen Obiri debuts Zevenheuvelenloop

Four-time world champion Hellen Obiri will be at the star to watch at the NN Zevenheuvelenloop that will be held on Sunday 21 November in Netherland.

 The 31 year-old who has less experience on the road compared to running on the track.

Obiri made her half marathon debut at the Istanbul Half Marathon last April where she ran an exceptional 1:04.51 making her the fourth-fastest Kenyan of all-time.

Last month she ran away with Great North Run title in a time of 1:07.42 beating European Indoor bronze medallist Champion Eilish McColgan from United Kingdom who crossed the line in second place.

Obiri successfully defended her 5000m title at the 2019 World Championships, in Doha, setting a new championship record.

In 2017 Obiri was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine.

Milcah Chemos: I was like a mother to Agnes Tirop…

Athletics Kenya athletes representative Milcah Chemos has admitted that the late Agnes Jebet Tirop was hardworking athlete and a very jovial person in her career.

It’s just too painful for me as Milcah, I have been like a mother to Agnes, and she calls me madam every time we talk.

On Monday at around 4:00pm, we talked for two minutes, “I congratulated her and told her that I have a present for you (which I still have it now) and we planned to meet in the course of this week,” said Chemos

We talked about her future on track and how she was ready to take over Hellen Obiri who has moved to the road race.

The reigning Tokyo 5,000m bronze medalist was found dead in her house at the free-area in Iten, Egeyo Marakwet County on Wednesday morning

The Athlete Rep led current and retired athletes to the home of the fallen hero to know exactly what befell their colleague. They included Janeth Jepkosgei, Asbel Kiprop, Kirwa Yego, Eunice Sum among others.

Tears flowed freely as it was hard to believe what they had seen. A young and brilliant soul had been taken away too soon.

Last month, Tirop set a new 10km new world record at the Adizero Road to Records in Herzogenaurach, Germany with the women-only record of 30:01 to win the race.

“I plead with the athletes not to suffer in silence, please open up and share, talk to someone, neighbor or a friend, help will come your way, if only you open up,” Chemos concluded.

Hellen Obiri wins the Great North Run half marathon

Olympic 5000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri won the 40th edition of the Great North Run half marathon that was held on Sunday (12) from Newcastle to South Shields in England.

The 31 year-old made her half marathon debut at the Istanbul Half Marathon last April where she ran an exceptional 1:04.51 making her the fourth-fastest Kenyan of all-time.

Obiri has been defeated three times recently on the track by Burudi’s Francine Niyonsaba including the recent race in Zuric Meet where she finished second and called it a day on the track events as she now puts her energy on road races which has paid off as she fought off to claim the GNR title in a time of 1:07.42.

Obiri was followed closely by European Indoor bronze medallist Champion Eilish McColgan from United Kingdom, who crossed the line six seconds later.

Eilish McColgan (L) Hellen Obiri (C) and Charlotte Purdue from UK pose for a photo after the race. PHOTO: GNR

The third place went to the 2013 European Cross Country bronze medallist Champion, Charlotte Purdue from Britain who pulled 1:08.49.

Hellen Obiri to headline Great North Run

Olympic 5000m silver medalist Hellen Obiri will headline the 40th edition of the Great North Run half marathon that will be held on Sunday (12) from Newcastle to South Shields in England.

The 31 year-old made her half marathon debut at the Istanbul Half Marathon last April where she ran an exceptional 1:04.51 making her the fourth-fastest Kenyan of all-time.

The versatile Obiri is the only woman in history to win world titles in indoor track, outdoor track and cross country.

Obiri has been defeated three times recently on the track by Namibia’s Francine Niyonsaba including yesterday’s race in Zuric Meet where she finished second and called it a day on the track events as she now puts her energy on road races.

Obiri will face off with Tokyo 2020 marathon bronze medallist, Molly Seidel from United States who comes to this race with a personal best of 1:08.29 that she got early this year at the Atlanta Motor Speedway 2021.

The race course record of 1:04.28 that was set in 2019 by Brigid Kosgei from Kenya is within her reach considering her personal best during her debut.

Francine Niyonsaba defeats Hellen Obiri in Zurich

Namibia’s Francine Niyonsaba defeated Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri from Kenya at the finals of the Wanda Diamond League that was held on Wednesday at the Zurich Diamond League.

Niyonsaba outkicked Obiri over the final 560m lap around to cut the tape in 14:28.98.

For the third time in two weeks Niyonsaba outkicked Kenya’s Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Hellen Obiri to take the honours on a curtain-raiser evening before Thursday’s main event that features a galaxy of stars.

“I love challenges. I have a lot of resilience and determination,” Niyonsaba said. “I stayed behind most of the race, this was my tactic. I am still learning after switching from 800m.”

Niyonsaba time of 14:28.98 will not be recognised as official because the race was run on a temporary, four-laned 560 metre, banked track in the city centre.

“It was a new experience, we did not know where we can start to kick and accelerate,” Obiri said.

Hellen Obiri to battle Francine Niyonsaba in Zurich meeting

Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri will battle Francine Niyonsaba  from Namibia at the finals of the Wanda Diamond League that will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, as the world’s best athletes descend on Zurich for a two-day feast of athletics to decide who will get their hands on the Diamond Trophy 2021.

Niyonsaba has had a successful reinvention as a long-distance runner with a new Burundian national record of 14:25.34, almost 30 seconds inside her previous personal best, to win the 5000m.

The Rio 2016 800m silver medallist switched to longer distances after being found to have elevated testosterone levels.

Obiri was beaten by Francine in Brussels over the same distance and it will be a tough call for her to overturn this in regard to Namibia’s current form.

Three more Kenyans have been lined up for the final including the 2017 World Cross Country senior Champion Lilian Kasait Rengeruk. Kasait comes to this race with a seasonal best of 14:30.32.  Beatrice Chebet who is the 2018 World U20 Champion is also in the list as well as Eva Cherono who is also the 2019 World Cross Country silver medallist Champion.

Ethiopia will be represented by Elgayehu Taye who holds the fastest time on paper of 14:14.19 and Fantu Worku who has a season best of 14:26.80

 LEADING RESULTS

WOMEN 5000M

  1. Elgayehu Taye                (ETH)   14:14.09
  2. Francine Niyonsaba      (NAM) 14:25.34
  3. Hellen Obiri                     (KEN)  14:26.23
  4. Fantu Worku                    (ETH)  14:26.80
  5. Lilian Kasait Rengeruk   (KEN) 14:30.32
  6. Beatrice Chebet                (KEN) 14:34.55
  7. Eva Cherono                      (KEN) 14:30.77

 

Francine Niyonsaba strikes again in 5000m race in Brussels

The 2017 World 800m silver medallist Champion, Francine Niyonsaba was on more fire as she defeated two-time Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri from kenya at at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme in the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.

Niyonsaba continued her successful reinvention as a long-distance runner with a new Burundian national record of 14:25.34, almost 30 seconds inside her previous personal best, to win the 5000m.

The Rio 2016 800m silver medallist switched to longer distances after being found to have elevated testosterone levels, and she produced a devastating sprint finish to win the race and forcing Ethiopia’s Elgayehu Taye to settle in second place in 14:25.63 with two-time world champion, Obiri coming home third in a season best of 14:26.23.

“It was fantastic to run here. I enjoyed every second of it and the national record is the cherry on top. To be able to run for a crowd was funny. It really helped me,” said Niyonsaba.

“I still do not know if I like long distances more than the 800m, but I love challenges. I won’t think too much about it because it is what it is. I’m still learning and am sure that I can go a lot faster in the future.”

The 2016 and 2017 World Indoor gold medallist Champion broke three records in Paris meeting, which was a world-leading time, national record and Meet Record and made history’s sixth fastest outdoor performer.

Ferdinand Omanyala to debut at Brussels Diamond League

National 100m champion Ferdinand Omurwa Omanyala will be making his Diamond League debut at the Brussels Diamond League meeting on Friday evening.

After making his debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021, Omanyala will be up against American Fred Kerley, South African Akan Simbine, American Trayvon Bromell and Michael Norman.

Omanyala, who failed to advance to the final, made history as the first Kenyan to reach the semis at the Olympics.

The 25 years-old Enjoys the National Record that he set twice in 9.86 during the final at the International Josko Lauf Meeting at Pramtal Stadium, Andorra, Austria a fortnight ago.

Olympic 5,000m silver medallist, Hellen Obiri, who is also the reigning World 5,000m champion, Margaret Chelimo, Lilian Kasait, Beatrice Chebet, Eva Cherono and Daisy Cherotich are the Kenyans who will compete in women’s 5,000m.

They will be up against Tokyo Olympic 10,000m silver medallist, Ethiopia’s Gidey Letensebet and fast-rising Francine Nyonsaba from Burundi.

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/