February 23, 2024

Joyciline breaks Barcelona half record to complete Kenyan double

Joyciline breaks Barcelona half record to complete Kenyan double
Joyciline Jepkosgei

Former world record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei and Kibiwott Kandie secured a Kenyan double at the Barcelona half marathon held on Sunday.

Jepkosgei took eight seconds off the course record by clocking 1:04:29 to move to sixth on the world all-time list.

Kandie, the second-fastest man in history for the distance, triumphed with a 59:22 after being challenged by his compatriot Roncer Konga for much of the race.

 

2019 world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich withdrew from the event leaving the women’s battle to be between Jepkosgei and Ethiopia’s Senberi Teferi.

That duo, along with Kenya’s Gladys Chepkirui remained favorites in the leading pack but the key moment came during the 18th km when 2015 world 5000m silver medallist Teferi could no longer keep up with Jepkosgei and gradually lost ground.

By 20km (1:01:02), Jepkosgei had a solid 14-second lead on her rival and was on pace to break the course record of 1:04:37, set last year.

The 2018 world half marathon silver medallist crossed the line in a course record of 1:04:29, also improving her lifetime best – set when finishing second here last year – by 17 seconds. Teferi finished second but was rewarded with a big PB of 1:04:40 to move to 10th on the world all-time list.

Chepkurui completed a classy podium in 1:06:34 and Warner-Judd was fourth in a PB of 1:07:07.

“I finished second here last year, so I was determined to win today,” said Jepkosgei, whose winning time is also a world-leading mark. “The course record and PB are bonuses.”

The men’s race had Kandie battle his compatriots Hillary Kipkoech, Emmanuel Moi Maru, Konga, Mathew Kimeli, and Ethiopians Dinkalem Ayele and Chindessa Debele Gudeta in the initial stages.

Konga had built an 11-second advantage over his pursuers by the 15km checkpoint (42:02), but Kandie, Kipkoech, Ayele, Maru, Kimeli, and Almgren all had Konga in their sights.

Kandie, who lowered his marathon PB to 2:04:48 in Valencia two months ago, made a move with two kilometers to go and soon managed to catch Konga. The duo ran together for just over half a kilometer before Kandie found another gear to pull away and secure victory in 59:22.

Former track specialist Almgren overtook Konga and Ayele in the closing stages to finish just one second behind Kandie in a national record of 59:23, making him the second-fastest European of all time.

Konga managed to hold on to third place in 59:28, two seconds ahead of Ayele.

“When Konga broke away, I preferred to stay quiet and relaxed,” said Kandie, who has been training in Xiamen for most of January. “I was confident of winning in the end and it finally happened.”

 

Leading results

 

Women

1 Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) 1:04:29

2 Senbere Teferi (ETH) 1:04:40

3 Gladys Chepkurui (KEN) 1:06:34

4 Jessica Warner-Judd (GBR) 1:07:07

5 Abbie Donnelly (GBR) 1:09:10

 

Men

1 Kibiwott Kandie (KEN) 59:22

2 Andreas Almgren (SWE) 59:23

3 Roncer Kipkorir Konga (KEN) 59:28

4 Dinkalem Ayele (ETH) 59:30

5 Hillary Kipkoech (KEN) 59:37