2020 World Half Marathon Championships - As it happened

LIVE: 2020 World Half Marathon Championships

What you need to know:

  • It was until the 1997 championships in Košice, Slovakia that a Kenyan woman, Tegla Loroupe, won the women’s race and the first time a country won both men and women’s titles. Shem Kororia claimed the men's crown.
  • Loroupe became the first woman to defend her title

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The 19-year-old’s feat was enough to erase Geoffrey Kamwroror’s previous championship record time of 59:08 set in 2014 Copenhagen.

Kandie clocked 58:54 for second place with Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn coming in third in a personal best 59:08.

Kenya's Kibiwott Kandie settled for silver in the event.

Jacob Kiplimo wins gold for Uganda - their first medal in the World Half Championships ever.

Kiplimo looks set for the gold!

Kiplimo responds. He is back infront.

Kandie back from the dead! The Kenyan zooms past Kiplimo.

17km: Race beginning to take shape as they approach 15km mark. Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo beginning to motor. With 23 passing 10km, the pack starts thinning with the pace picking up.

10km: Cheptegei eying history as the first man to win three major world titles on track cross country and road. Still outside world record. The Ugandan guides the pack of 12 through 10km in 28 minutes and 23 seconds.

Cheptegei won the World Cross Country title in March last year followed by the 10,000m world title in Doha in August same year.

Kenyan international striker Michael Olunga congratulates compatriot Peres after her win in Poland.

5km: The men's lead pack hits the 5km mark at 14:19.

1:37pm: No defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor (injury). This means that we shall have a new world champion.

1:30pm: The men's race is underway!

Tehualaw was second while Kejeta was third.

1:05:16: Jepchirchir wins gold for Kenya. Her second title in these championships after her win in 2016.

It appears to be a three-horse race heading to 20km mark as Tehualaw, Jepchirchir and Kejeta battle.

1:00pm: In five minutes time, we shall have a new world champion. 

Tehualaw, Jepchirchir and Kejeta take advantage of the fall to lead

56 minutes: It's now Peres versus Yehualaw versus Kejeta for the gold.

18km: Oooops! She takes a tumble also! Yeshaneh is now trying to recover.

Yeshaneh now hits the front for the first time in the race!

The women's leaders are still on women's only world record pace.

15km: Jepkosgei and Jepchirchir lead the pack of seven through 15km in 46 minutes and 24 seconds. Also in the pack is Can from Turkey and Ethiopians Yeshaneh, Yimer and Yehualaw.

15km: Into the final lap now. Still sevens athletes in the leading pack.

12:42pm: It's now a leading pack of seven athletes: three Ethiopians Yeshaneh, Yimer, Yehualwa and two Kenyans Jepchirchir and Jepkosgei. They are joined by Can and Kejeta from Germany.

12:39pm: The world could see a new champion crowned as Gudeta continues to fall back midway the race after she went down at a sharp corner.

The defending champion Gudeta five seconds down.

10km: Can from Turkey and Kenyans Jepkosgei and  Jepchirchir battle Ethiopians Yimer, Yehualaw and Yeshaneh as the pack of seven athletes go through 10km in 30 minutes and 47 seconds.

12:30pm: We are 30 minutes into the race and things are taking shape! Jepchirchir and Jepkosgei battle three Ethiopians including Yimer, Yeshaneh and Tehualaw.

12:29pm: In 29:01 the defending champion Gudeta takes a tumble. Falls down but she is up.

12:27pm: Turkey's Yasmin Can now leading the race, but still the leading pack is in tow.

12:20pm: Jepkosgei leads the pack through 5km in a fast-paced race 15 minutes and 20 seconds, pulling along Jepchirchir, Mary Wanjiru, Can and defending champion Netsanet Gudeta. The leading pack has 13 athletes.

Forty five countries are represented in this year's championships.

12:10pm: In under 10 minues, a gap is opening up pretty quickly. Two groups formed already. Jepchirchir and Joycilline Jepkosgei from Kenya and Yasemin Can of Turkey leading the first pack.

12:05pm: Jepchirchir goes into the race having broken the women's only World Record with victory in Prague in 1:05:34 on September 5 this year.
Also is the race is women's mixed World Record holder Ababel Yeshaneh from Ethiopia.

12:00pm: We are underway in Poland.

11:53am: Uganda's team to Poland

Men: Joshua Cheptegei, Moses Kibet, Victopr Kiplagat, Jacob Kiplomo and Stephen Kissa

Women: Zena Chebet, Juliet Chekwel, Doreen Chemutai and Doreen Chesang

11:53am: Ethiopia's team to Poland:

Men: Guye Dola, Andamlak Belihu, Leul gebresilase, Hailemaryam Kiros and Amedework Walelegn

Women: Meseret Sisay, Netsanet Gudeta, Yalemserf Yehualaw, Ababel yeshaneh and Zeineba Yimer

Ethiopia's Ababrel Yeshaneh is the World Half Marathon record holder from her victory 1:04:31 in Ras Al Khaimah in February this year. She is in the field alongside defending champion Netsanet Gudeta.

11:50am: 10 minutes to showtime.

Kenya's team in Poland:

Men:Kibiwott Kandie, Bernard Kipkorir, Bernard Kimeli, Leonard Barsoton and Morris Munene.

Women: Peres Jepchirchir, Brilliant Jepkorir, Joyciline Jepkosgei, Rosemary Wanjiru and Dorcas Kimeli.

Officials: Patrick Makau (head coach), Catherine Ndereba (chaperone) and Patrick Kipsang (team manager) and Jonas Tonge (co-ordinator).

11:45am: Here is what the winners should expect to get:

Individuals: 1st: US$30,000 (Sh3.2m), 2nd: $15,000 (Sh1.6m), 3rd: $10,000 (Sh1.08m), 4th: $7,000 (Sh759,000), 5th: $5,000 (Sh542,000), 6th: $3,000 (Sh325,000)

Teams: 1st: US$15,000 (Sh1.6m), 2nd: $12,000 (Sh1.3m), 3rd: $9,000 (Sh976,500), 4th: $7,500 (Sh813,800), 5th: $6,000 (Sh651,000), 6th: $3,000 (Sh325,000)

11:42am: In less than 20 minutes, the women's race will be underway. Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir will be seeking her second title after her previous victory in Cardiff 2016.

11:28am: The Ugandans are ready!

11:20am: The 24th edition of the World Half Marathon Championships goes down in Gdynia, Poland in the next 40 minutes.

Kenya has been represented in all the championships since inception in 1992 Newcastle, United Kingdom where the late Benson Masya, who hailed from Kitui, made history to win the men's race.

It was until the 1997 championships in Košice, Slovakia that a Kenyan woman, Tegla Loroupe, won the women’s race and the first time a country won both men and women’s titles. Shem Kororia claimed the men's crown.

Loroupe became the first woman to defend her title and the first to claim a hat-trick with victories in 1998 and 1999 while Paul Tergat made history as the first man to defend his title with victories in 1999 and 2000.

In 1995, Kenya made history in the men’s event when they claimed all the top podium places with Moses Tanui, Paul Yego and Charles Tangus achieving the feat. That feat was only achieved again in 1997 with Shem Kororia, Moses Tanui and Kenneth Cheruiyot claiming the honour.

Kenya is the only country to have accomplished a sweep of all the podium places in the women's race in 2014 and 2016 and in fact, made history as the only country to have claimed all the top five places in women’s race during the 2016 event.

The wonder girls who accomplished the feat either in personal or season best times were Gladys Cherono, Mary Ngugi, Selly Chepyego, Lucy Kabuu and Mercy Kibarus.

Precisely, Kenyan men have the most wins (12) out of the 24 editions while the women too have the most wins, seven.

Loroupe is the most successful of the Kenyan women, having won three titles back-to-back from 1997 to 1999 while Geoffrey Kamworor is the most accomplished among Kenyans, having won three events in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

The Kenyan women have won 10 team titles with the first coming in 1998 after breaking Romania’s five-year dominance. The men have won 15 team titles.

Kororia and Kamworor are the only Kenyans to have won with championship record times in 1997 (59:56) and 2014 (59:08) respectively, and the only others athletes besides Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese in 2008 (59:56) and 2009 (59:35).

Kamworor’s record still stands while Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta holds women’s championship record time of 1:06:11 from her victory in 2018.

The world half marathon was an annual event until 2010 before World Athletics made it biennial.


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