Kandie faces stiff opposition as he seeks to defend Valencia title

Former Valencia Half Marathon winner Kibiwott Kandie is among 14 Kenyans set to battle it out at the Valencia Half Marathon on October 22 in Spain.

Kandie, who holds the half marathon's best time of 57:32, will face tough competition from Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha who holds a time of 58:32 (second best time in the marathon).

Kandie, the 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon silver medalist, will be hoping to cement his name in Valencia and replicate his amazing performance back in 2020 when he set the record time in the race. 

The two will be joined by runners, who have clocked under 59 minutes in the race,  including Matthew Kimeli, winner of the 15th annual UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in 2019 in Central Park, New York, who holds a time of 58:43. 

Sebastian Sawe, who holds a half marathon best of 58:58 from his win at the 2022 Bahrain Royal Night Half Marathon,  will be gunning to take the title from Kandie.

The 2022 Standard Chartered Marathon 10km bronze medalist, Bravin Kiprop, who has a time of 59:22 in the half marathon, will also be among the challengers alongside Josephat Kiprotich who won the 38th edition of the Maratona da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June.

Other Kenyan athletes in the race include Brian Kwemoi (59:37), Hillary Kipkoech (59:41), Erick Sang (59:50), Weldon Langat (59:55), Laban Kiplimo (1:00.13) and Kelvin Kibiwott (1:00.14).

Ethiopian’s Tadese Worku, 3,000m medalist at the 2021 World Athletics U20, and 5,000m world 3,000m junior record holder,  Hagos Gebrhiwet will give the Kenyans a competitive race.

Great Britain's all-time number three, Callum Robert Hawkins (1:00:00), will be looking to pull an upset for the group.

The women's challenge will be led by the 2019 world 5,000m silver medallist, Margaret Chelimo who holds a time of 1:05:26 in the marathon and she will be joined by Janet Chepngetich.

The 2020 World Half Marathon silver medalist and current European record holder over the distance, Melat Kejeta from Germany together with Ethiopia’s  2023 world cross country silver medalist, Tsigie Gebreselama will give the Kenyan ladies a tough race.

posted Monday September 11th
by Teddy Mulei