PRM / Duo in pursuit of world record at CPH Half

15. september 2018 19:54 | Af: Ritzau Info

The women’s world record is pursued by two women at the CPH Half, where the men’s elite fields shows an extraordinary depth and level.

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This year’s elite field at the CPH Half has gained international attention due to the extremely high level. An impressive number of 14 runners with personal bests of less than 60:00 minutes are confirmed, and of these, two have run under 59:00 minutes: Abraham Cheroben (Bahrain) and Jorum Lumbasi Okombo (Kenya)

Both achieved this at last year’s CPH Half, where they finished first and second, respectively. For this reason, the duo are favourites to win this year, but they will be facing extremely sharp competition. Especially from Ethiopian Jemal Yimer Mekonnen, who holds this year’s third fastest time on the distance with 59:00 minutes and Kenyan Daniel Kipchumba, who follows him immediately on the very same list with 59:06 minutes.

Exciting debutant

It is also worth noticing the debuting Yomif Kejelcha (Ethiopia).

This far, he has primarily competed on the 3,000 and 5,000 metres distance and has done so very well. He is two-time 3,000 metres indoor world champion, and recently at the Diamond League finales on August 31sthe ran the seventh fastest time ever on the 5,000 metres, finishing third with 12:46:79 minutes.

‘Kejelcha may not be the number one favourite for the win, but he will be very exciting to follow. He is a debutant and the type of runner who could really steam ahead from the very beginning. The others will just have to try and keep up. In fact, I would not be surprised to see him nearing the 10 kilometres world record, and from then on, we will have to wait and see how long he can last’, says Henrik Paulsen, competition director of CPH Half. The depth of the elite field is so extraordinary and of such a high quality that someone outside of the main favourites might very well prove fastest on the day. We are in for an intense and close race guaranteed to show some very fast times. Both Cheroben (58:40 mins) and Okombo (58:48 mins) have announced that they are going for the win as well as a new personal best. All of this is a good indication of a winning time well under 59:00 minutes.

Duo runs for the world record

The women’s field shows an equally high level, sporting five women with a personal record of less than 68:00 minutes. In contrast to the men, there is however one woman in particular who stands out. Joan Chelimo Melly (Kenya) has proven that she belongs among the very best on the half marathon distance. She has improved her personal record to a current 65:04 minutes, a mere 14 seconds from the world record – one that she has announced she intends to beat at the CPH Half where she finished second last year.

Her toughest competitors for the win are Ruth Chepngetich (Kenya), Ababel Yeshanen Brihane (Ethiopia), and Mary Wacera Ngugi (Kenya), who all hold records under 66:30 minutes. Chepngetich has previously won half marathons in both Milan, Istanbul, and Paris, and earlier this year she finished second in the Paris Marathon. Since arriving in Copenhagen, she has stated that she is ready to run for the world record.

‘Melly is bringing her own pacer and we are providing one for Chepngetich, as it became clear that she wants to target the world-record. This means that the two women can use the pull of at least two men to their advantage, relying on them to pace them to the finish line, while at the same time pushing each other. So, we are in for a very interesting comptetition for the win but probably also for the world record’, says Henrik Paulsen.

Apart from the main favourites, it will also be very exciting to follow Dutch Sifan Hassan, who has shown peak performance this season, winning the 5,000 meters European Championship and setting a new European record on the distance. At the recent IAAF Continential Cup during the weekend of September 8th-9th she reached a new personal 3,000 meters record and it will be interesting to see what she can do on the 21.0975 kilometres.

‘Her case is one similar to the men’s Kejelcha: she does not know the distance and might steam ahead from the very start and I am quite positive that she has the capability to threaten the 10 kilometres world record’, says Henrik Paulsen.

The Copenhagen Half Marathon is run on September 16th, 11:15 AM

see the enitre elite list here


PR- og Pressemedarbejder Martin van Dijk tlf.: 26292691 email:

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