Melat Yisak Kejeta stormed to silver in perfect conditions on the Baltic Sea coast and brought the German athletes a sensational medal at the World Half Marathon. The 28-year-old from Kassel ran the almost 21.1 kilometers on Saturday in the national record time of 1:05:18 hours and pulverized her own record by more than three minutes. Uta Pippig’s previous German record was not only over 25 years old (March 1995), but also more than two and a half minutes slower (1:07:58 hours).
In the extremely fast race in Gdynia, Poland, only Peres Jepchirchir from Kenya was faster, who set a world record time for all-women races over this distance in 1:05:16 hours.
Marathon national trainer Katrin Dörre-Heinig was downright enthusiastic about Kejeta’s run into the world elite: “This is a house number and absolute world class. It couldn’t have run better. I was particularly impressed by the courage to go with this high pace from the start. Hats off, she did everything right. “
Kejeta had led the line-up of the German Athletics Association (DLV), but was considered an outsider with a view to the medals. During the race, the German always belonged to the top group and on the final kilometers with title winner Jepchirchir and the Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw separated from the rest of the field. Yehualaw was third in the sprint final in the final meters.
Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) missed the continuation of his world record series and unexpectedly went without a medal. The 24-year-old crossed the finish line in 59:21 minutes in fourth 42 seconds after his victorious compatriot Jacob Kiplimo and missed the intended improvement of Abraham Kiptum’s two-year-old world record (Kenya / 58:19) by more than a minute.
Kibiwott Kandie (Kenya) and Amedework Walelegn (Ethiopia) also lined up ahead of Cheptegei, who had set world records over 5000 m on the track, 5 km on the road and most recently over 10,000 m in his three races so far this year .