Women's Half Marathon World Record Holder is Racing June 23

Three months after her world record run at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships Valencia 2018, Ethiopian Netsanet Gudeta Kebede will be making her eagerly anticipated follow-up over the distance at the Mattoni Olomouc Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Saturday June 23. Gudeta stormed to a 1:06:11 women’s-only race half marathon world record in the Spanish city on March 24, winning by 43 seconds. She's competed only once since, a fourth place finish at the TCS World 10km in Bengaluru, India, on May 27, where she clocked 31:53. She is going to have strong competition. Among the opposition assembled in this eastern Czech city of 100,000 is compatriot Aselefech Mergia, the world silver medallist over the distance in 2007 and world gold medallist in the marathon in 2009. She has a 1:07:21 best from 2011, and clocked 1:08:46 last year. Her best race this season came in New York in April where she finished second in the Healthy Kidney 10km in 32:06. Kenya comes armed with Antonina Kwambai, perhaps her fiercest challenger this weekend, who notched an impressive victory at the Paris Half Marathon on  March 4 in 1:08:07. That was the 26-year-old's second consecutive personal best this year, following her 1:09:07 run in Naples in February where she was second. The men's race features four men with personal bests under one hour.  The fastest is Jemal Yimer, the 21-year-old Ethiopian who clocked his 59:00 lifetime best at this year's Ras Al Khaimah Half in February where he finished second. His performance remains the third fastest of 2018.

posted Friday June 22nd