Dutch Sifan Hassan showed at the Copenhagen Half Marathon, that she is not only a world class runner on the track but also on the road.
In near perfect weather conditions, the 25-year-old Hassan lowered the European Record from 2007 by more than a minute, when winning the 4th annual edition of the CPH Half in 65:15 minutes – only 24 seconds short of a new world record.
At the same time, Hassan smashed the race record with impressing 56 seconds.
“I often thought I was going to die! The pace was so hard, but I just kept coming back,” an clearly surprised Hassan said after the race, which should be called her debut, although she did run a – much slower – half marathon back in 2011 at age 18.
As expected, Sifan Hassan started the race off really fast and stuck to pre-favorite Joan Chelimo Melly, who had proclaimed that she would be targeting the world record. The Kenyan favorite had to settle with a 3rd place after having lead most of the race. For a long time she even looked to be on her way to a new world record when splitting the first 5K in 15:06. Only Hassan could catch up with that pace, although she several times looked to lose the grip on the Kenyan.
Even though Sifan Hassan is currently one of Europe’s biggest names on the athletics stage, European 5,000 metres champion and European record holder on the distance, its safe to say that Hassan surprised everyone today – including herself. She also proved that she has a bright future ahead of her on long distance.
Eight women came under 68 minutes at the CPH Half 2018.
Kipchumba wins the men’s race
Daniel Kipchumba from Kenya won the race when he crossed the finish line in 59.06 minutes, which is the second fastest winning time at CPH Half.
“I am very happy. I wanted to push the pace at 15K, but I found conditions to be too windy, and so I stayed in the group,” said the 21-year-old Kenyan, who fought a close battle with his countryman Abraham Kiptum, eventually beating him with three seconds.
Kipchumba won the race after a sprint finish against three other runners, where Abraham Kiptum and Jemal Yimer Mekonnen came in as second and third. As fourth, in the time 59.17 minutes, came the double world champion on 3000 metres indoor, Ethiopean Yomif Kejelcha, who also debuted on the distance.
Before the race, hopes were set for a world record in the men’s race. World records, however, do not come easy. The first 10 km proved to be too slow with a large leading group splitting in 28:10, and Daniel Kipchumba went on to win in 59:06, equalizing his best time set back in April when he won the Lago Maggiore Half Marathon. Kipchumba told afterwards that he will be attempting a new fast half marathon time in New Delhi on October 21st.
An impressive number 8 men dipped under the magic 60 minutes, once again proving the race to be one of fastest half marathon races in the world.
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