Geoffrey Kamworor, Karoki beat Farah as Peres Jepchirchir wins women's category
Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor went for a second bite as Peris Chepchirchir stunned a classy line up to win the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships titles here in Cardiff, Wales, on Saturday.
Kamworor, who works for National Police Service, dictated the men's high pace and revenged against four-time world champion Mo Farah, who beat in 10,000m final in Beijing.
Kamworor re-enacted his world cross-country winning formula: gun-to-tape front run.
The 23-year-old runner sped away in the final stretch with his arms pumping to victory in 59.10 seconds –not bad as he took a fall in the initial stages.
Karoki (59.36), Mo Farah (59:59) and Ethiopia's Abayneh Ayele (60:06) followed.
It was particularly sweet victory for Chepchirchir, who set the Kenya's medal display in motion when she blew away a star-studded to wear women's crown.
The five Kenyan women –Pascalia Kipkoech, Cynthia Limo, Mary Wacera, Peris Chepchirchir and Gladys Chesir –stormed into the lead at the start of the race in Cardiff Castle area, dictating the pace even as Ethiopia's Genet Yalew made a brilliant surge.
Kipkoech, third at the 2012 world half marathon, dominated the lead as she stepped up the pace and went through the five-kilometre mark in a swift 16:31.
Limo, who won the 2016 Rak 21km race and boasting the world best time with 66:04, looked strong as she also crossed in 16:31 alongside a pack of five that included Ethiopia's Netsanet Gudeta, world half marathon silver medallist Mary Wacera, Chepchirchir and Chesir.
The three –Chepchirchir, Wacera and Limo –battled Ethiopia's Yalew along the Wales Millenium Centre through to Roath Lake Park amid sonorous cheers from the crowds that lined up on the streets.
Limo and Chepchirchir looked too strong as they opened a 40-metre gap between them and Wacera, although it was clear Kenya was headed for a 1-2-3 sweep, just slightly below the 1-5 sweep in Copenhagen in 2014.
As a rookie, Chepchirchir beats the odds as she outfoxed Limo in a sprint finish in 67:31.
Limo, an Iten based athlete, settled for silver in 67:54 ahead of Wacera, who bagged bronze in 67:54.
Ethiopians Netsanet Guda (68:01) and Genet Yalew (68:15) came in fourth and fifth as Gladys Chesir (68:46) and Paskalia Kipkoech (69:44) sealed the top-seven spots to earn Kenya the overall title ahead of Ethiopia and Japan.
Chepchirchir, who completed Form Four at AIC Kosirai Girls High School in Nandi County, said: "The race was not bad. The rains were hectic although the course is relatively good. I will now prepare for 10,000m Olympic national trials."
Limo said she would compete in a 10km race in New York next month. "I am happy for silver medal. This is one of the most challenging races I have competed in. It's good we could manage it," said Chepchirchir.
Wacera, who won silver in Copenhagen in 2014, contended with bronze. "I am happy it's a Kenyan podium sweep. The bronze medal means that I am consistent enough," said Wacera.
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