Yalemzerf Yehualaw slashes mixed half marathon world record in Northern Ireland

22-year-old Ethiopian runner Yalemzerf Yehualaw ran an incredible women's half marathon at the Antrim Coast event beating Ruth Chepngetich's world record by 19 seconds.

By Ken Browne

Ethiopia's Yalemzerf Yehualaw has just shattered the mixed half marathon world record clocking 63 minutes and 43 seconds at the Antrim Coast event in Northern Ireland, paring 19 seconds off Ruth Chepngetich's previous mark.

Yehualaw ran with male pacemakers on the coastal course around Larne and was inside world record pace the entire way. She lowered her personal best on Sunday by an astonishing 1 minute three seconds.

"A dream come true, something I have worked for all my life," the elated 22-year-old said.

"I was frustrated after not getting it in Istanbul but I am extremely happy now!"

In the first 5k kilometres Yehaulaw went 15:05, eight seconds inside world record time and reached 15k in 45:24.

A downhill section in the final 6k helped her keep a blistering pace as she scorched across the line in record time.

A marker of just how fast she went was that second-placed Vane Nyamboke came home in 69:44, over six minutes after Yehaualaw.

Rose Harvey from England finished third a further 32 seconds back.

And it was an Ethiopian double as Jemal Yimer claimed the men's event in 60:29, a single second ahead of fellow Ethiopian Tesfahun Akalnew.

But the day belonged to Yalemzerf Yehualaw who seems to leave a mark everywhere she goes since making her international debut in 2019.

Victory at her first African Games, Rabat 2019, was a fine way to announce herself. Then in 2020, Yehualaw won a bronze medal at the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia.

A personal best of 64:46 at the New Delhi Half Marathon in 2020 came next, before sanding a further six seconds off that in Istanbul earlier this year.

Ethiopia's next big thing is coming up fast.