Kenyan runner Peres Jepchirchir has smashed the women-only race half marathon world record at the Prague 21.1KM on Saturday.
The 26-year-old clocked 1:05:34 over 16.5 laps of Letna Park’s oval course to obliterate Netsanet Gudeta’s previous best mark of 1:06:11, set at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships.
Jepchirchir broke away from her rivals after just 20 minutes, passing 10 kilometres in 30:32. The lack of pacemakers started to show as her pace slowed in the second half of the race, but she still finished well under the previous record.
“I thank God… I’m so excited… I’m satisfied with the result although I thought I could have run 64:50, but I thank God for what He has given me,” the 26-year-old told reporters after the race.
“It was difficult to run alone. If I could have had (good) pacemakers, I could have run 64.”
This is Jepchirchir’s second world record over the distance. In 2017 she clocked 1:05:06 in a mixed-race in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE - a record which stood for just under two months.
Later at the Prague 21.1km, the men are hoping to break 58:30, a time surpassed only twice in history.
While there was no record broken in the men's race, victorious Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie did manage a Personal Best time of 58:37.
Jep chirchir’s achievement comes a day after another record-breaking event at the Brussels Diamond League on Friday 4th September, where Sifan Hassan and Mo Farah set new one hour world records.
Dutchwoman Hassan, who won 10,000m gold at last year's World Championships, covered a distance of 18.930km, while four-time Olympic champion Farah broke Haile Gebrselassie's one-hour world best to set a new mark of 21.330km.