Yalemzerf Yehualaw shatters women’s half-marathon world record

·2-min read
Photo credit: SAJJAD HUSSAIN - Getty Images
Photo credit: SAJJAD HUSSAIN - Getty Images

Yalemzerf Yehualaw ran Northern Ireland’s Antrim Coast Half Marathon in 63:43 this weekend, smashing the women's half-marathon record.

The 22-year-old slashed 19 seconds off the previous time set by Ruth Chepngetich at the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon in April this year.

Sub 64

Yehualaw is the first woman in history to run a half-marathon in under 64 minutes.

The Ethiopian averaged a blistering 04:52 per mile, to take 57 seconds off her personal best set in Istanbul earlier this year.

Running behind pacemakers Mo Ali and Roy Hoornweg, Yehualaw was under world-record pace all the way. She came through her opening 5K in a rapid 15:05 – eight seconds inside world record pace – and continued to hold on. She passed 15K in 45:24 before storming ahead in the closing stages.

She finished more than six minutes ahead of Kenya’s Vane Nyamboke, who clocked 69: 44. Britain’s Rose Harvey came home third in an impressive 70:29, shaving five minutes off her PB.

Making her international running debut in just 2019, Yehualaw is a rising star in the distance-running world. She won the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in November last year and took bronze at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia.

After the race, Yehualaw said: 'This was a dream come true for me. I have tried twice before to break the world record but it didn’t happen, but I’m so happy it happened today in Larne.'

Men’s race

Over in the men’s race, Ethiopia’s national record holder Jemal Yimer took the win in 60:29. He finished one second ahead of compatriot Tesfahun Akalnew, with Kenya’s Shadrack Kimining finishing third.

Sir Mo Farah, who sat out of this year’s race due to injury, remains the men's course record holder, after running winning the race in 60:27 last year.

Marc Scott was the first Brit home in fourth place. He stayed with the leading group until the final stages of the race, to run a PB of 60:32. Scott had finished second to Farah in 2020.

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