Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya broke three world records in winning the Prague Half Marathon on Saturday.
The Kenyan set a new half marathon world record — as well as registering the quickest times for the 10-kilometre and 15-kilometre marks — in just her fifth half marathon.
Her time of one hour four minutes and fifty two seconds (64:52) was 14 seconds better than the previous half marathon world record which was set at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in UAE earlier this year by compatriot Peres Jepchirchir (65:06).
Incidentally, Jepkosgei’s previous career best was in Ras Al Khaimah on February 10, which she ran in 66:08.
“I didn’t know I would break the world record today,” Jepkosgei said after the race.
“I only wanted to improve my time. This is a surprise for me. The conditions were good for me because I’m used to training at this time of day, in the morning.”
Her 10-km split time was 30:05 while she clocked 45:37 at the 15-km split.
Defending champion Violah Jepchumba finished second while Fancy Chemutai was third.
Jepchumba was the reason Jepkosgei had to push harder throughout the race. She was just one second behind the eventual winner at the 10-km mark as both ran within the previous record of 30:21 which had been set by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe in 2003.
Just before the 15-km, Jepkosgei had started pulling away from Jepchumba and clocked a three-second lead at the split.
In the men’s field, Ethiopian Tamirat Tola — the Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist — won with a timing of 59:37. Kenyans Josphat Tanui and Geoffrey Yegon were second and third.