Chepngetich’s delight after Istanbul record

By Amos Abuga
Tuesday, April 6th, 2021
Ruth Chepng’etich.
In summary

Ruth Chepng’etich says she is not about to slow down after smashing the women’s half-marathon world record on Sunday in Turkey.

Chepng’etich, 26, who set a new record of  one hour, four minutes and two seconds at the Istanbul Half Marathon says she plans to keep challenging herself.

The Ngong-based athlete who was due to jet back to the country last night sliced almost half a minute off the previous best mark of 1:04:31 set by Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh in February last year.

“I am really happy for this amazing result. Thank you all for the messages and the great support.  The world record is something I have been dreaming for some time and I am so happy to do it on the streets of Istanbul,” stated Chepng’etich.

She was followed across the line in Istanbul by Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw (1:04:40) with Kenya’s Hellen Obiri coming third  in 1:04:51, a time recorded as the fastest debut half marathon in history.

“For me it has been about trying to be better in whatever I set my sights on. On Sunday it was about trying to win three races in Istanbul in a row, I am so happy it came with a record,” added Chepng’etich who boasts a personal best of 2:17:08 set at the 2019 Dubai marathon.

The shy road queen who was named in Kenya’s team for Tokyo Games alongside world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, world half marathon record holder Peres Jepchirchir and 2018 London Marathon Champion Vivian Cheruiyot, had a huge psychological win, one she chose to ignore.

“I was not thinking about Brigid or any other participants. I had a job to do which was to compete and fight for top honours,” Chepngetich played down beating Kosgei who finished fifth on Sunday.

When the games are finally held in Tokyo, Chepngetich’s aspiration is to continue her fine form in Kenyan colours.

“For any athlete, the prospect of competing for your nation in the Olympics is the ultimate dream. I don’t just want to make numbers but try to win Kenya good,” stated the athlete who is ranked as the fourth fastest in women’s marathon history behind Kosgei, Paula Radcliffe and Mary Keitany.

Meanwhile, men’s world half marathon holder Kibiwott Kandie won the corresponding race on Sunday. Kandie clocked 59:35 which passed as a course record.

Former record holder Geoffrey Kamworor trailed 0.3 seconds behind Kandie and Roncer Kipkorir came third.