News : Preview, schedules and television World Half Marathon of Gdynia (Poland)
This coming Saturday, October 17, the only international competition for national teams that has been held in this COVID era will land in the Polish city of Gdynia, an exciting World Half Marathon that will bring together the best long-distance runners in the world. The list of names that will participate is simply spectacular: from the brand new world ‘record holder’ of 5,000 and 10,000 Joshua Cheptegei (who has been training in the Sierra de Gredos these days) to athletes of the stature of Kibiwott Kandie, Jacob Kiplimo, Yeshaneh or Jepchirchir.
At the national level, the loss of Toni Abadía has been a hard blow, but we will have athletes of the stature of Chiki Pérez, Iraitz Arrospide, Mechaal or Ayad Lambdassem. The test will be carried out in a closed urban circuit of about five kilometers which will be given four laps. It is a cold and coastal town. There will be no world record holder for the distance, a Geoffrey Kamworor who suffered an accident while training a couple of months ago and is in full recovery.
To explain the test, the participants, the favorites and much more, we spoke with the athletics expert Óscar Fernández (@gabyandersen), who, as always, leaves us his impressions of the competition.
First international competition
“We are eager to see something official. We have seen important flashes, world records, but they were against the clock, not in big meetings. It was a bit cold maybe. The championship gives you another vision. Just by listening to the hymns, which in this typical year we have not been able to. Here we will be able to live it, with the fortune that Being in October and after confinement, he arrives with many of the athletes with a fairly outstanding preparation and with a good level. With names like Cheptegei that have shown that they are at the top. We are going to see a very interesting championship. In this very beautiful month of October in terms of competitions that has left us world records, we are going to put the icing on the cake ”.
“Poland from the beginning already had competitions. In eastern Europe there has not been so much incidence it seems. This past weekend was the Sofia Marathon, recently the Moscow one. There is a girl I train who is on Erasmus there and they look at her strangely when she goes with a mask on the street. The measures have nothing to do with what we are living here. It seems that the rate of infections is much higher than ours ”.
“When the championship was awarded to this Polish city they made a video exposing the characteristics. The start and finish line are very close in a very beautiful port area. At this time of year, the conditions are not going to influence much. Some Games in July-August for example you always have the conditioning of the heat, as in Rio. In Tokyo the conditions will surely be quite extreme as well. In the case of a competition in October, they are months in which conditions are good. The only thing is the rain, which can upset everything. Yes, that could condition him ”.
The Men’s Test: A Cast of Stars
“Regardless of the brands, they are indicative. More than this year’s mark (many have not had the opportunity to race), it is clear that there is a lot of level. There are athletes who appear without brand like Kiplimo or Cheptegei, who will be two of the favorites. The brand is indicative, but then you have to see the quality of the athlete, the state of form. Joshua’s thing will be worth seeing. A person who has never run in the distance and who will be the top favorite. They are the two greats who come for Uganda, a country that must be taken very seriously, they already made it clear in Aarhus last year. Kiplimo there is some more doubt due to his age, he has no experience on the road, he is a little unknown. We’ll see if those extra kilometers can weigh you down ”.
“In Ethiopia they did a 15km test as a kind of test a few weeks ago. We saw some surprises. It was at altitude. Kiros won, Belihu came about four seconds behind, then Walelegn, who is striking because he is half blonde, albino. There was Adola too, who was the one who put Kipchoge on the ropes in Berlin 2017. Ethiopia has a very powerful team. They have had a harsh confinement, some athletes complained about that, Bekele, Hassan. Third in contention is obviously Kenya with Kandie, Kimeli, Barsoton. They all come down from the hour, it is a tremendous potential as a team. They will arrive a little better prepared I think ”.
Kamworor, low sensitive
“After the accident, it was already discussed in its day. The accidents in Kenya are tremendous, I imagine that the issue of the roads there makes it inevitable. Not only there, Cheptegei had an accident a couple of years ago in Uganda. In Geoffrey’s case there are no big marathons, no Chicago, no Berlin, no New York. We will not be able to enjoy all the big events, the ‘majors’ of this winter and many of them have not wanted to force and have been placed next year ”.
“I think that in the end the situation we have experienced has affected everyone and they are not special. Obviously if you have to be confined, it is what it is. The problem is that when you are at such a high level and you start running on a treadmill, your tread changes, everything. Then there is the conditioner of uncertainty. When you prepare something in particular, you know what your roadmap is going to be, that you have several bullets. The worth is undoubted, but another thing is the preparation. Until recently it was not known if there was going to be a championship. The only thing we saw is the test that was done in Seville in the Promises Championship. It had its controversy because it was normally done with a lactate test, but this time it was wanted to do so, on the track. It has led to discussions because the route is not the same as the track. The level they demonstrated is more than optimal, but we’ll see ”.
“I bet on Cheptegei. The only question is how it goes in the last kilometers. For a person going at 2: 30 / km, the change will not be a big problem. It will arrive very fresh. He has many kilometers on his legs, a lot of preparation. Then there is the issue of the tactic each selection can employ. As they do not press it in the end it will be the top favorite. There is no hare, it is another tactic, to see also how it adapts to that. At the level of fitness there is no one better, he is like an airplane ”.
The female test
As to Ethiopia and Kenya go with very good teams. In the case of the Ethiopians, they did a test and there the one who won was Yehualaw, which was a half surprise because it was not the most expected. Gudeta, champion in Valencia, was second. They have a great team. In the case of Kenya, another great team. Wanjiru ,, Jepkosgei, Jepchirchir, athletes of a high level. Then there is the Israeli of Kenyan origin Salpeter. The level is very very high. What is there is a qualitative leap between them and the rest of the world ”.
“It is the first major championship to be competed with the new shoe regulations and this is very important, it changes everything. There are going to be huge improvements presumably across all brands. So far we have only seen it at Nike, but it is a litmus test for all the big brands. It will condition because there will be athletes whose running shoes benefit more than others ”.
The Spanish women’s team
“Laura (Méndez) earned her place in the Seville test, she showed that she was in good form. Loyo is the current Spanish champion on average and Galimany the same. Record of the Hour, is in shape. Today she is perhaps the most regular Spanish long-distance runner. In the end, as in boys, the conditions are what they are. We hope the best of them ”.
Schedules and departure lists:
The women’s event will start at 12:00 noon, while the men’s event will start at 12:45. These are the participants: