Kenya's Kandie smashes half marathon world record in Valencia


FILE PHOTO: Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya crosses the finish line after passing Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo at the last moment to win the annual "Sao Silvestre Run", an international race through the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil December 31, 2019. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

(Reuters) - Kenya's Kibiwott Kandie smashed the half marathon world record by 29 seconds on Sunday, becoming the first person to break 58 minutes at the Valencia Half Marathon.

Kandie, who finished second at the world half marathon championships in Gdynia in October, finished the Spanish annual race in 57 minutes and 32 seconds, breaking the previous record of 58:01 set by compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor in September 2019.

"I can't believe it, I have beaten Kamworor's world record by half a minute," Kandie said. "Today is a great day for me and also for Kenya."

The top four men all ran under the previous world best, with Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda finishing second in 57:37, Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto third in 57:49 and Kenyan Alexander Mutiso taking fourth place in 57:59.

Kandie, 24, led the chasing pack, which included reigning world champion Kiplimo, through the 15-kilometre mark in 41:10.

The pair traded the lead over the next six km before Kandie made the decisive move, to finish more than a minute off his previous personal best of 58:37.

Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba won the women's race in 1:05:18, setting the fastest time for a debut over the distance.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas and Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Clarence Fernandez)

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