Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich shattered the women’s half-marathon world record on Sunday in Istanbul, Turkey.
Chepngetich completed the event in just one hour, four minutes and two seconds.
“I am really happy with this amazing result,” Chepngetich told World Athletics. “The world record is something I have been dreaming about for some time, and I am so happy to do it on the streets of Istanbul.”
Chepngetich beat the previous time of one hour, 4 minutes and 31 seconds, set by Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh in February last year.
Former Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga took to Twitter to congratulate the Kenyan star.
“Congratulations Ruth Chepngetich on breaking the Women’s Half Marathon World Record in Istanbul,” Odinga wrote. “Your victory is a reminder to the world that indeed Kenya is a distance running powerhouse. Thank you for once again flying our flag high. We are proud of you. Hongera!”
Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia was the runner-up and two-time 5,000-meter world champion Helen Obiri finished third in. Obiri also made history on Sunday with the fastest debut in history. According to World Athletics, Sunday’s race is the first time three women have run under 65 minutes in one half marathon.
Kenya had even more to celebrate in Istanbul on Sunday thanks to Kenyan long-distance runner Kibiwott Kandie, who won the Istanbul Half Marathon in 59 minutes and 35 seconds.
Kandie beat out compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor, who came in second, while Roncer Kipkorir came in third. In December, Kandie smashed the half marathon world record by 29 seconds at the Valencia Half Marathon last month, finishing in 57 minutes and 32 seconds. The previous record of 58 minutes and one second set by Kamworor in September 2019.