Athletics Athletics

Jepkosgei heads the field at Gifu Half Marathon

Joyciline Jepkosgei wins the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright.

GIFU, Japan, Apr 7 -Freshly-minted world record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei will be returning to action at the Gifu Seiryu Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on 23 April, organisers have announced.

The 23-year-old Jepkosgei produced one of the most stunning international breakout performances in recent years when she broke four world records at the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon on 1 April.

The Kenyan clocked 1:04:52 to shatter the previous mark by 14 seconds after also taking down world records* for 10km, 15km and 20km en route to her triumph.

She’ll be the focus of attention in the central Japanese city of Gifu, in a race that will also feature Ethiopian Belaynesh Oljira, Kenyan Philes Ongori and Mimi Belete of Bahrain.

Oljira, who boasts a 1:07:27 lifetime best, returns to action after her eighth place finish at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017 on 26 March.

Ongori, the runner-up at the World Half Marathon Championships in 2009, has a 1:07:38 career best, while Belete clocked her personal best of 1:09:14 in February.

Leading the men’s field will be Kenyans Bernard Kipyego and Kenneth Keter. Kipyego, 30, a two-time winner at the Amsterdam Marathon, has a 59:10 half marathon lifetime best.

Keter, 20, ran his 59:48 personal best last year, and most recently finished fourth in the Paris Half Marathon on 5 March where he clocked 1:01:50. He was also fourth in this race in 2016.

The women’s course record of 1:08:55 was set last year by two-time winner Eunice Kirwa of Kenya. The men’s course record of 1:00:02 was set by Kenyan Bedan Karoki in 2014.