Kenya: Kibiwott Kandie Sets New World Half Marathon Record


World half marathon silver medallist Kenya’s Kibiwott is the new half marathon world record holder.

Kibiwott obliterated the world record by 29 seconds when he engaged world half marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda in a thrilling exchange in the last kilometre to win the Valencia Half Marathon in 57 minutes and 32 seconds on Sunday morning in the Spanish city.

It was a swift and sweet revenge by the 24-year-old Kandie against Kiplimo, who beat him at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, in Poland on October 17 this year.

Kiplimo, 20, finished second to also deep inside the world record in 57:37 as the top four athletes all finished inside the world record.

INSANITY IN VALENCIA. Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie runs 57:32 to destroy Geoffrey Kamworor’s 58:01 half marathon world record as the TOP FOUR MEN all run under the previous WR. Jacob Kiplimo 57:37 in 2nd, Rhonex Kipruto 57:49 in 3rd (debut), Alexander Mutiso 57:59 in 4th. pic.twitter.com/srZKYLpDVr – Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) December 6, 2020

The previous world record of 58:01 was held by former world half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor set at Copenhagen Half Marathon on September 15, last year.

Kandie’s victory and the world rceord saw him pocket a total of Sh18.09million; 35,000 Euros (Sh 4.69million) for winning and a bonus of 100,000 Euros (Sh 13.4 million) for breaking the world record.

World 10,000m bronze medallist Rhonex Kipruto from Kenya finished third in personal best 57:49 with compatriot Alexander Mutiso also chalking personal best of 57:59 for fourth place.

The men’s pack of six crossed the 10km mark in 27:30 with Kipruto, Kiplimo, Kandie and Philemon Kiplimo from Kenya and Mutiso running shoulder-to-shoulder.

The fast-pace took a toll on Philemon who drifted off to leave the rest battling for top honours.

Two-horse race

Kandie then started to push the pack, testing their strength of his rivals. He took the pack through 15km in 41:10 alongside Kipruto in 41:10. Kiplimo and Mutiso cruised through in 41:11 as Philemon battled to catch up with them in 41:11 too.

Mutiso would also test the pack when he hit the front but not for long as Kiplimo also had his share of the front-running.

It curved into a two-horse battle between Kandie and Kipruto as they hit the 20km in 54.42, deep inside the world record by 15 seconds.

Kandie looked exhausted and struggling for Kiplimo to pass him in the last kilometre but the Kenyan seem to have more gas in his system.

Kandie, who is the national cross country and Kenya Defence Cross Country champion, regained the lead to triumph.

All was written on the wall for Kandie, who started his season with victory at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in 58:58 in the United Arab Emirates on February 21 before cruising to course record victory in Prague on September 5 in 58:38 he in Czech capital.

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