Kenyan athlete Brigid Kosgei shattered the world record for the fastest half-marathon by a woman Sunday, as she completed the Great North Run in one hour, four minutes and 28 seconds. Her timing was 23 seconds faster than the previous record, set by fellow Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2017.
Kosgei led a Kenyan sweep of the top four places, with Magdalyne Masai second (1:07.36) and Linet Masai third (1:07:44). She had previously won the London Marathon earlier this year.
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Among the men, it was business as usual for Mo Farah as he won the elite race for a record sixth successive year. The four-time Olympic gold medalist was given tough competition by Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia, but Farah proved too strong in the final mile for the Ethiopian as he finished the 13.1-mile course in 59min and 7sec, winning the race by six seconds.
The third spot was sealed by Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands as he completed the marathon in 59:55 seconds.
The double Olympic champion in both the 5,000m and 10,000m has already established himself as the leader in long-distance events and hopes to successfully defend his Chicago Marathon title next month. The 36-year-old distance runner claimed his first marathon title last year when he won in Chicago in a time of 2:05.11, which also was a European record.
“I’ve really enjoyed it but the past couple of years has been in the middle of marathon preparation. It was good to test myself,” Farah was quoted as saying by AFP after his victory.
“Things are looking good and I’m happy with the win. Tokyo (2020 Olympics) is definitely on the cards — as an athlete you always want to represent your country. You just have to take it one year at a time. Hopefully, come Tokyo time, we will be in the mix,” he added.