Ethiopia’s Ababel Birhane is the new women’s half-marathon world record-holder.
The 28-year-old clocked one hour, four minutes and 31 seconds in the Ras-Al-Khaimah marathon in the United Arab Emirates, shaving 20 off the previous record set by Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei 18 months ago.;
Women’s marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei, who was favourite to win, ran inside the previous half marathon world record. But her time of one hour, four minutes and 49 seconds was only good for second place.
The 21km (13-mile) race was on world record pace from the first kilometre and soon Birhane and Kosgei isolated themselves from the rest. At one point they even shared a water bottle and had a chat.
It was after the 15km (9.3 miles) mark – which they crossed in 45 minutes and 38 seconds – that Ethiopia’s Birhane took the lead which she held to earn the biggest result of her career.
The time will be subject to ratification procedures by the World Athletics governing body.
Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie won the men’s race in 58 minutes and 58 seconds.