Defending champion Walalegn returns to lead strong CPH Half elite field aiming for a new men’s European record and a women’s race record within a top 5 world lead this year.
Fiercely fast and excellent conditions.
Those are merely two reasons as to why the 8th edition of the CPH Half may very well go on to stage a new European men’s record on Sunday, September 18.
Defending champion returns to improve winning time
Ten runners in the men’s field will be aiming for a sub 60 time. Among those will be the European record-holder and his Norwegian contestant, challenging the current record of 59:13 minutes.
To lead the field, defending champion Amdework Walalegn returns, and he is in excellent shape.
At last year’s CPH Half, he clocked 59:10 minutes to take the victory. On Sunday, he is going for the win again, only this time he will be targeting a sub 58.30 time.
The Ethiopian Gnyida 2020 World Half Marathon Championships bronze medalist comes with a fresh PB of 58:40 set in Ras Al Khaimai in February, and he is determined to become the first consecutive winner of the CPH Half.
Mathew Kimili and Felix Kipkoech – two other athletes who can boast a PB under 59 minutes – are expected to challenge Walelegn along with a third Kenyan contender, Titus Kipruto, who in April won the Milano Marathon in 2:05,05 and now seems up for an interesting debut at the half marathon distance.
European Championships wonder challenges current record
In the men’s race, one should be keeping an eye out for Norwegian Zerei Kbrom Mezngi. Even though, last year, he did set a new 10 km national record in Valencia with a time of 27:39 minutes, he surprised everyone at this year’s Europeans in Munich when he took home Silver in the 10,000 metres clocking 27:46.94 minutes.
Mezngi’s shape is excellent and his chances of deleting the current European half marathon record considered very good. And that is exactly what he aims for at Sunday’s 8th CPH Half edition.
The European record of 59:13 is currently held by Schwiss Julien Wanders. A time which he set in Ras Al Khaimah in 2019, and which Zerei is ready to challenge.
And having the record-holder and the the record-challenger head to head in the very same race doesn’t make the duel any less exciting.
“At the European Championships in Munich I shaved almost 11 seconds off my personal best over the 10,000 metres. I’m in good shape, I think, and the course in Copenhagen is fast, which suits me just perfectly,” says Zerei Kbrom Mezngi.
If Mezngi goes on to accomplish his mission, the CPH Half will be holding the European records for both men and women, as it was also Copenhagen that staged the current European women’s record of 1:05:15 set by Dutch debutant Sifan Hassan back in 2018.
However, both Mezngi and Wander will have to keep an eye on German Amanal Petros, who in Munich narrowly missed out on a medal in the marathon. He as well is said to be chasing Wanders’ record.
Women Kvinderne jagter løbsrekord og top 5-tid i verden i år
In the women’s race, the field looks strong. And at least two contestants are going for a sub 65 minutes time, which would be a great improvement of the current women’s race record of 1:05:08.
Also, any sub 65 minutes time would rank within a top 5 of world lead times in 2022.
One of the favourites are Vicoty Chepngeno of Kenya – ranked 7 in the world and boasting fresh PB’s over several distances, among them a half marathon PB of 1:05:03 set i Houston in January.
Her contestant – Kenyan Fancy Chemutai – lines up with a PB of 1:04:52 and a second place in the 2018 Valencia Half Marathon where she came in second just after the previous world record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei.
Domestic runner to delete the world para-record
As if world top 5 winning times and a European record shouldn’t be enough, more records may be within reach on Sunday.
Para-athlete Christian Lykkeby has set his mind and eyes on the para-world half marathon record.
Even if Lykkeby is a fairly new name within the para athletics, he has already represented Denmark at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo last year, where he competed in the 1500 metres.
Boasting a personal best of 31:12 minutes over the 10 km and a great current shape, Lykkeby is considered to have great chances of improving the current world record. The record is 1:10:57 set in Japan in June this year.