Justin Lagat wrote this piece last week while i was on vacation. That Geoffrey Kamworor gave up his position on the 10,000m team is a missed chance to watch an athlete at his finest in Doha. But, we saw him in Copenhagen, plus we get to see him in New York in November! Justin Lagat will be posting a piece most days in Doha on the Kenyan performances!
Perhaps for the next few years, the talk about a world record attempt for the half marathon distance will stop for a while after Geoffrey Kamworor has just broken the old record by such a huge margin of 17 seconds. Zerseney Tadese’s previous world record of 58:23 had almost seemed permanent after standing for over eight years before Kenya’s Abraham Kiptum, who is currently banned for doping took 5 seconds off it last year to set a new one of 58:18.
If it took that long for the 58:23 to be broken, then it definitely will take much longer for the new world record of 58:01 which Kamworor has just set to be broken.
For a while now, Kamworor had been seen as the new king of the half marathon distance who took over from Tadese after he has won three consecutive world half marathon titles. The world record was perhaps the only thing that still made him seen a little bit shorter than Tadese in his accomplishments, but the debate one who is the greatest half marathon runner of all-time can now begin!
Having easily won the 10,000m event at the Kenyan national trials for Doha world championships, Kamworor had declined the offer to go out and represent the country. He instead chose to focus on the Copenhagen half marathon and the New York City Marathon later in the year. His win at the national trials was a clear indication of his current supreme form, and a number of his fans who had seen him training expected that he was going to run an amazing time today.
For the first 10km of the race, Kamworor remained patient behind the only one pacesetter who had managed to survive the fast pace past the 5km point that was crossed in 13:53. The second 5km split was 13:41 before the last pacer finally dropped off and Kamworor still managed to increase the pace crossing the 15km point in 41:05 in another faster 5km split of 13:31! At that point, he was way inside the world record and the projected finish time was close to 57:44. He did slow down a little towards the 20km point, but he had already done enough to cushion him as he proceeded to win the race in 58:01.
He was more than one minute ahead of his next competitor, Bernard Ngeno who ran 59:16 for second and Berehanu Wendemu who ran 59:22 to finish in third position.
Not only was this a great day for Kamworor, but in some way it gave more confidence to his training mates after it showed that the kind of training that has been going on at the Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat, as Eliud Kipchoge focuses on running a marathon under 2hrs in October, has been perfect.