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Hassan falls hard, still finishes second at Valencia Half-Marathon

Kejelcha wins with a personal best 59:05, exactly 3 weeks after taking 10,000m gold in Doha

No one would have been surprised to see the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, who has dominated both the track and the roads this year, take down Joyciline Jepkosgei’s world record at the Valencia Half-Marathon today, but it was not to be. Hassan fell hard at the 7K mark, but managed to recover and finished in second place in 1:05:53, only 21 seconds behind Sembere Tefere of Ethiopia, who broke the tape in 1:05:32. Joan Chelimo of Kenya was third, in 1:06:09.

After taking silver in the men’s 10,000m exactly three weeks ago in Doha, Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha won in a personal best 59:05. Bernard Kipkorir of Kenya finished second, in 59:07 and Leonard Barsoton, also of Kenya, was third in 59:09.


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Given her recent dominance of the track world, chasing a world record was a realistic goal for Hassan, who set a new European record of 1:05:15 in her debut half-marathon in Copenhagen just over a year ago. Hassan also set world records in both the mile (4:12.33) and the 5K (14:44) in 2019.

Athletics Weekly reports that Hassan, whose coach, Alberto Salazar, was served with a four-year ban for doping violations on September 30, is now being coached by Charles van Commenee, former head coach of UK Athletics.

Kejelcha, also a former Salazar athlete, broke the indoor mile world record at Boston University in March 2019.

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Tefere, 24, was the silver medallist at the 2015 World Cross-Country Championships, when she was only 20. She holds the Ethiopian national record in the half-marathon (1:05:45, set at the RAK Half-Marathon in United Arab Emirates this past February).


The US’s Molly Huddle was also in the mix today, finishing seventh in 1:09:36. Huddle is the American record-holder at this distance (1:07:25, set at Houston last year).

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For full results, click here.