Tag Archives: Philemon Kiplimo

Battle of the titans in Prague

Kenya’s Philemon Kiplimo, the eighth fastest half marathon runner in history will lead a deep men’s elite field at the 23rd edition of the Prague Half Marathon that will be held on Saturday in Prague, Czech Republic.

The 23 year-old comes to this race with the eight fastest time of 58:11 that he got in 2020 at the Valencia Half marathon where he finished in fifth position.

Kiplimo will not have an easy ride as he has been lined up with three compatriots who have gone under the fifty nine minutes mark. They are Kennedy Kimutai, who comes to this race with a personal best of 58:28 that he got last year in Valencia after crossing the line in fourth place.

The 25 year-old Keneth Kiprop Renju who is the oldest among the four comes to the race carrying on his shoulder a personal best of 58:35 that he got early this year at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon where he took the bronze medal.

Another title contender is Mathew Kimeli, who comes to the city of Prague with a personal best of 58:43 that he got last year in Valencia after finishing in seventh place.

The above four runners have all run under the race course record of 58:47 that was set fifteen years ago by Atsedu Tsegay from Ethiopia.

Five more runners who have run under the 60 minutes mark have also been lined up to fight for the pole position and also chase the course record mark. The 26 year-old Benard Kimeli, is more familiar with this course after taking the 2021 honors with a life time best of 59:07. Fourth place finisher at this year’s Napoli City Half Marathon Josphat Kiprotich has also been rolled in as he comes with a personal best of 59:35.

Ethiopia’s Gerba Dibaba will also be on the start line up as he comes with a personal best of 59:39. The 21 year-old who started his running career in October last year has participated in two half marathons both in Portugal and this will be his first time to step in Czech Republic and his third road race.

Africa Cross Country Champion Alfred Barkach, who is the most experienced runner in this field and Wisley Kibichii both carrying personal best of 59:46 and 59:57 from Delhi Half Marathon and Movistar Medio Maratón de Madrid respectively.

LEADING TIME

21KM MEN

  1. Philemon Kiplimo      (KEN) 58:11
  2. Kennedy Kimutai       (KEN) 58:28
  3. Keneth Kiprop Renju (KEN) 58:35
  4. Mathew Kimeli           (KEN) 58:43
  5. Benard Kimeli             (KEN) 59:07
  6. Josphat Kiprotich       (KEN) 59:35
  7. Gerba Dibaba              (ETH) 59:39
  8. Alfred Barkach           (KEN) 59:46
  9. Wisley Kibichii           (KEN) 59:57

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.