Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh smashed the world record to win the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on Friday, February 21, clocking 1:04:31 at the World Athletics Gold Label road race.
Marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei was a distant second in 1:04:49, but her time was also inside the previous world record of 1:04:51, set by Joyciline Jepkosgei in Valencia in 2017.
Kosgei led for the first half, taking the field through five kilometres in 15:07 and 10 kilometres in 30:18.
By this point, only Yeshaneh was able to stick with the Kenyan as Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yelahun led the chase pack some 11 seconds behind.
After passing 15 kilometres in 45:38 with a three-second lead over her Ethiopian rival, Kosgei was overtaken by Yeshaneh a few moments later.
Having covered the second 10km segment in 30:54, Yeshaneh opened up a significant gap over Kosgei.
Yeshaneh crossed the line in 1:04:31 to take 20 seconds off the world record while Kosgei followed in a Kenyan record of 1:04:49.
Rosemary Wanjiru came through to take third place in 1:05:34 and the next five women over the line finished within 67 minutes.
“I didn’t imagine this result,” said Yeshaneh. “I am a world record holder!”
Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie won the men’s race in 58:58, finishing 18 seconds ahead of compatriot Alexander Mutiso.