Chiki Pérez and the fall of Hassan, protagonists of the Valencia Half Marathon
Ethiopian runners Yomif Kejelcha and Senbere Teferi won the twenty-ninth edition of the Trinidad Alfonso EDP Valencia Half Marathon played on Sunday, although neither of them had options to reduce the global record.
Kejelcha prevailed in the last kilometer to fellow countryman Jemal Yimer and Kenyans Bernard Ngengo and Leonard Barsoton with a time of 59:05 minutes, down the four corridors of the hour. In females, the clear winner was Teferi with a time of 1: 05.33, while second was the Dutch Sifan Hassan, although the world champion of 1,500 and 10,000, suffered a fall at the start of the race that hindered her chances of winning the career of which was the great favorite.
Record of participants
The race started with a record participation of 17,500 participants and on a somewhat hot day. In the female participation, where the organization had placed its hopes of being able to lower the world record achieved in its layout in 2017 by Jocelyn Jepkosgei (1h04: 51), the Dutch Hassan Together with Teferi and Kenyan Joan Chelimo, they led the test from the beginning.
After a quick passage through the first five kilometers, Hassan stumbled upon a corridor behind him and fell to the ground. The double gold medalist in the Doha World Cups was able to continue the race although her rhythm lost the fluidity with which the race had begun.
In front Teferi and Chelimo clearly left the rest of the runners, although at kilometer 25 the Kenyan athlete could not stand the pace and left Teferi alone until the end of the test. Behind Hassan was recovering sensations and could finish second, 21 seconds after the winner, while Chelimo completed the podium at 37 seconds.
The first Spanish runner to reach the finish line was Laura Méndez with a time of 1h.13: 44. In the men's event, a group of twenty runners surpassed the first five kilometers, where they still held the Spanish Ckiki Pérez and Toni Abadía, which together with the Norwegian Sondre Moen were the only European representation against the African runners.
At kilometer 10, with the Ethiopian Jemal Yimer in front, the leading group marked a time of 27.56, with 24 seconds above the world record, which made it clear that it would be impossible to opt to lower the best world mark away.
Kejelcha takes the final sprint
Together with Yimer, his compatriot Kejelcha and the Kenyans Ngeno, Barsoton and Geoffrey Koech formed the quintet that would stand out at kilometer 15, although the latter would be lifted shortly after.
The duel between Ethiopians and Kenyans was served. Without a record in sight, the four runners dedicated themselves to guarding themselves in the final kilometers and they all passed together under the banner of the last thousand meters, after which he gave a jerk Kejelcha, which allowed him to catch a few meters of difference that were definitive to take the Valencian half marathon.
Bernard Ngeno entered two seconds and Leonard Barsoton four seconds later. The first Spanish to reach the finish line was Chiki Pérez, with a time of 1h.00: 59, which makes him the second Spanish runner in history that falls from the hour and minute.