World Half Marathon Championships cancelled

Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya beats the World Record (1:05:16) and wins the women's race of the 2020 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, in October 17, 2020.

Photo credit: Mateusz Slodkowski | AFP

What you need to know:

  • It shall incorporate the half marathon championships in future, as well as introducing world 5km championships.
  • Mass races will be held alongside the elite championships to allow recreational runners to be part of a global festival of road running.

This year's World Half Marathon Championships set for Yangzhou, China in November have been cancelled, World Athletics announced Tuesday.

In a statement released Tuesday, the global athletics body said that following extensive discussions with the local organising committee (LOC) and the Chinese Athletics Association, it has been mutually agreed that the championships cannot be held in Yangzhou this year.

The event had earlier been scheduled for March 27 this year, before it was pushed to November.

However, the Council also resolved to grant the World Athletics Road Running Championships to Yangzhou in March 2027 which is a new series of competition.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe thanked the Yangzhou LOC and the Chinese Athletics Association for their excellent work in preparing to host the World Half Marathon Championships.

“Unfortunately, the championships can’t be held this year, through no fault of the LOC, but our endurance athletes will have the opportunity to compete in Riga next year.

“The Council’s decision to award another event to Yangzhou in 2027 indicates its faith in the organising committee and willingness to return and stage a World Athletics Series road running event there at the first available opportunity,” he said.

The last event held in Gdynia, Poland in 2020 saw Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo win gold in a course record time of 58:49 ahead of Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie, who timed 58:54 and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn was third in 59:08.

In the women category, Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir set a new record time of 1:05:16 ahead of Germany’s Melat Yisak who clocked 1:05:18, while Ethiopia’s Yamlezerf Yehualaw settled for bronze in 1:05:19.

The World Athletics Road Running Championships will be held in Riga, Latvia from September 30 to October 1, 2023.

It shall incorporate the half marathon championships in future, as well as introducing world 5km championships.

Mass races will be held alongside the elite championships to allow recreational runners to be part of a global festival of road running.

Additional reporting by World Athletics.

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