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Geoffrey Kipsang And Tiny Eritrea Have Days To Remember At 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships

by 21-year-old Geoffrey Kipsang has shown the potential to be a senior world champion, but now he’s got a world title to prove it as he won the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon championship today in Copenhagen


21-year-old Geoffrey Kipsang has shown the potential to be a senior world champion, but now he’s got a world title to prove it as he won the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon championship today in Copenhagen in 59:07 ahead of Eritrea’s Samuel Tsegay and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola, who both ran 59:20.

Finishing fourth was 5-time world half marathon Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, who was unable to win a record sixth individual World Half Marathon title today, but it was a great day for tiny Eritrea nonetheless as the tiny country of just 6 million plus won gold in the team competition as the top three Eritrean runners all broke an hour. With Tsegay in second (59:20), Tadese in fourth (59:37) and Nguse Amlosom (59:37) in fifth, Eritrea’s top three man total time of 2:58:59 was by far the best on the day.

If more than three men scored, Eritrea still would have won the team title as their two other finishers weren’t far behind –Ghirmay Ghebreslassie (7th 60:09) and Samson Gebreyghannes (8th 60:12).

2006 NCAA 5,000 and 10,000 champ Josphat Boit led the US effort by finishing 21st in a new personal best of 61:32 (previous PR of 61:41). ”It was a great race,” Boit told Race Results Weekly after the race.  ”I came here to place as high as I could, and it’s great to represent,” he said, pointing at the USA logo on his chest.

Team USA was sixth in the team standings in 3:06:18.

Quick takes and full individual results appear below. Team results will eventually show up here.

Quick Take #1: Kipsang is the real deal. The junior world xc champ in 2011, he might have been favored to win senior World XC gold last year in Poland but he didn’t run the race as instead of running the Kenyan Trials he dominated the RAK Half Marathon. He wasted no time running a full marathon last year (follow the $) running 2:09:12 in Rotterdam in his debut. Since then, he’s run 2:06:12 in Berlin and 2:07:37 in Tokyo last month. If you want to know why Kenya struggles to win medals in the 10,000 on the track, it’s because young talents like Kipsang are on the roads. Remember at 18 in 2011, in the span of 8 days, he ran his track prs of 27:12 at Pre and then 13:12.23 in New York.

59:07 without a rabbit is very impressive. His next goal? The WR. ”For now, my main goal is to prepare well to run the world record in the half-marathon,” he told reporters.

Kipsang trains with Olympic marathon champ Stephen Kiprotich under the tutelage of Patrick Sang.

Quick Take #2: Think about Eritrea’s performance for a minute. In a single race, the country of 6 million had five men run 60:12 or better on a non-aided course. The US’s population is more than 50 times bigger at 313 million plus and in the history of the US only two men have ever run under faster than 60:12 – Dathan Ritzenhein 60:00, Ryan Hall 59:37 (Todd Williamsran 60:11 on an aided course).

Eritrea’s team gold wasn’t totally unexpected. Ken Nakamura tells us they had won team silver on 7 straight occasions.

Quick Take #3: Stats by Ken Nakamura: For the fifth time in history KEN won both men and women’s race in the World half Marathon. Previously then won both in 2010, 1999, 1998, & 1997.

 59:07 is the 4th fastest time in the history of World Half marathon championships. It is also the second fastest winning time in history.
Five runners broke 60 minutes in the World half marathon, but in 2007 record 7 runners broke 60 min.
ERI won first team gold medal in World Half marathon snapping KEN’s team winning steak at six. After seven straight team silver ERI finally won team gold.
Best-ever-marks-for-place for 8th and 9th in the World Half Marathon Championships were set.
Samuel Tsegay and Guye Adola became the 109th and 110th, respectively to crack 60 minutes for half marathon

Review overview
  • Tezareb March 31, 2014

    Congratulations to the Eritrean team and silver medal winner Samuel Tsegay.
    Job well done by the upcoming Kenyan Gold winner Geoffrey Kipsang and the Ethiopian silver co-medalist.

  • HGDEF March 31, 2014

    Congratulations “tiny Eritrea”! Congratulations Assenna for starting to report the success of our athlets.

  • Araya March 31, 2014

    congratulation Samuel Tsegai, I am happy for you that you keep persisting and achieve your triumphant. gobotat keyhkor tarik serihu, wish you good luck for the rest

  • MightyEmbasoyra March 31, 2014

    I am not why they keep calling Tiy Eritrea?
    Eritrea is #96 on the list and Israel, both Koreas are smaller than Eritrea for example. Tiny? These people (writers) are geographically challenged.

    • Genet-orginal April 1, 2014

      I agree with your point. “Tiny” Eritrea; It makes no sense. During the Sochi Olympics, I noted there were so many small states of former USSR. I did not hear any one calling them “Tiny”

  • Mussie March 31, 2014

    Are they going back to EritrEa (ኤሪ ጥራያ)?
    I know Eritreans are hero people but only one dictator make eritrea dark.
    My God take this dictator isayas afewerki to the Hell forever.

    This is what i pray every day

  • concerned Eritrawi March 31, 2014

    Congratulation Team Eritrea, at this moment in time you are the only team making the name Eritrean is not at bad. Keep up the great job.

  • concerned Eritrawi March 31, 2014

    We are very proud of you, bring Eritrea up on top of the World.

  • Genet-orginal April 1, 2014

    Well done Eritreans brothers! This is the result of hard work and determination. If Our country was free of dictatorship, justice and liberty is the norm, the world would see a prosperous Eritrea. I have no doubt Eritrean have special talent for being resilient.
    Proud of your my brothers!
    God bless you!

    • Genet-orginal April 2, 2014

      Please read as would have seen. thnanks