All eyes on Kandie in Valencia Half Marathon

Kibiwott Kandie

Kibiwott Kandie poweers his way to victory in the men's 10,000m final at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on June 25, 2022 in the Kenyan trials for the World Athletics Championships-cum-Commonwealth Games.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kandie broke the world record in the 2020 edition of the race, timing 57:32 to win.

Men’s world half marathon record is under a threat as top athletes contest for honours in Valencia Half Marathon on Sunday.

The Kenyan contingent includes, among others, reigning Commonwealth Games 10,000 metres bronze medallist Kibiwott Kandie who is the fastest in the field with a personal best time of 57 minutes and 32 seconds.

Kandie broke the world record in the 2020 edition of the race, timing 57:32 to win.

However, Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo lowered the record in November last year, timing 57:31 to win the Lisbon Half Marathon.

Kandie will come up against some of the finest athletes in the 21km race, among them Sebastian Sawe (58:02), Daniel Mateiko (58:26), Kennedy Kimutai (58:28), Rodgers Kwemoi (58:30), Bernard Ng’eno (59:07), Alfred Barkach (59:36), all from Kenya.

Trained well

Before leaving for Valencia,  Kandie who trains in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County said his training had been incident-free and he was ready to face the competition.

“I have prepared well in the last few months and I believe I have done enough to perform well on Sunday (today). I have not competed since the Commonwealth Games,  and I have a feeling that something good will come my way,” Kandie told Nation Sport before leaving for Valencia.

He plans to use the race as a launching pad for the new season, and to ultimately qualify to represent Kenya at the 2023 World Cross Country Championships in Australia on February18.

In the women’s race, world 10,000m bronze medalist Margaret Chelimo of Kenya leads her compatriots Vicoty Chepng’eno who is the fastest in the field with personal best time of 1:05:03, and Irene Kimais (1:06:34).

Chelimo said: “Given that we are about to start a new season for cross country events, the race will help me gauge my form and preparedness ahead of other races to come. I love competing in cross country races, it’s my favourite specialty,” said Chelimo.

Also in the women’s line-up is Purity Komen (1:07:10), Vivian Melly (1:08:17), and Agnes Ngolo (1:09:15). They will also be competing with Kenyan-born Yasemin Can.

It is at the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon that Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey broke the world record of 1:02:52 (mixed gender).

In 2017, Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei broke the world record time after clocking 1:04:51 which was later lowered by Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh to 1:04:31 in 2020 with victory at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.


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