Event – The 2020 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships
Venue – Course at Sandy Beach in Gdynia, Poland
Date – Saturday, October 17
Time – 12pm (Women) & 1:30pm (Men) Uganda time
How To Watch – NTV Kenya, SuperSport Variety, YouTube Channel of World Athletics
The Brief: The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships is an biannual half marathon competition organised by World Athletics.
The 2020 event was originally scheduled to take place on March 29, 2020 but later postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Participants – 62 countries have sent their athletes in Poland. A total of 283 athletes will take part (157 men, 126 Women)
Team Uganda –
MEN: Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Kiplimo, Moses Kibet, Stephen Kissa, Abel Chebet
WOMEN: Juliet Chekwel, Doreen Chesang, Doreen Chemutai, Rachael Zena Chebet
How Will The Drama Unfold – As earlier stated, there will be two races, the first will be the Women’s event at midday before the Men’s. Athletes will run in a looped 5km circuit around Gydnia before finishing at the Baltic Sea coast.
Did You Know – This is the only World Championship event to be held this year.
All eyes on Joshua Cheptegei:
Yes, for obvious reasons – He has broken three World records this year in his three races he has taken part. 12:51 (5km) in Monaco in February, 12:35.36 in 5000m run in Monaco in July, and 10 days recently on October 7, he smashed the 10000m WR when he clocked 26:11.00 in Valencia.
“It’s been my dream to make a debut at the half marathon. This title will be something very special for me. A win on my debut will be amazing,” he said in a press conference, as quoted by World Athletics.
“I have been training well for the 5000m, the 10,000m, but now it’s the half marathon. I know it comes just a few days after the world record but I believe I’m a person of high talent and I can say it will be a nice challenge for me. I’m hungry for the title. I’ve shown in cross country, I’ve shown in the track, I’ve shown when it comes to attacking records, so the only thing now is to win a special title on the roads.”
Victory will see Cheptegei become the second man in the modern era to win global titles on the track, road and cross-country after joining Khalid Skah who also won the World Half on his debut.
Who Else To Watch Out For Team Uganda?
Jacob Kiplimo has been on everyone’s lips since the emphatic wins in Rome (3000m) and Ostrava (5000m).
He is expected to give Cheptegei a hard run for his money, which sounds good in all aspects, as Uganda targets a one-two as it was in the 2019 World Cross Country Championship last year. Stephen Kissa on the other hand, who has run the Half marathon in just 1:00:00 will have a say as well.
Uganda will face stiff competition from Benard Kimeli and Benard Ngeno from Kenya, and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola, Andamlak Belihu and Birhanu Legese.
In the Women’s category, Uganda’s Juliet Chekwel and Racheal Zena Chebet have the capability of stunning pre race favourites Peres Jepchirchir (Kenya) and Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh Netsanet. Kebede Gudeta (Ethiopia) and Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei are the other pretenders to the throne.
Men’s Winners Since 2010
Gold – Wilson Kiprop (KEN) 1:00:07
Silver – Zersenay Tadese (ERI) 1:00:11
Bronze – Sammy Kitwara (KEN) 1:00:22
Gold – Zersenay Tadese (ERI) 1:00:19
Silver – Deressa Chimsa (ETH) 1:00:51
Bronze – John Nzau Mwangangi (KEN) 1:01:01
Gold – Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 59:08 CR
Silver – Samuel Tsegay (ERI) 59:21
Bronze – Guye Adola (ETH) 59:21
Gold – Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 59:10
Silver – Bedan Karoki Muchiri (KEN) 59:36
Bronze – Mo Farah (GBR) 59:59
Gold – Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 1:00:02
Silver – Abraham Cheroben (BHR) 1:00:22
Bronze – Aron Kifle (ERI) 1:00:31