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Swiss marathoner shatters masters half-marathon record in Copenhagen

Tadesse Abraham, 40, was one of 15 runners to dip under the 60-minute barrier. He averaged two minutes and 50 seconds per kilometre over the half-marathon distance

Photo by: Instagram/tadesse_abraham_official

On Sunday at the Copenhagen Half Marathon, Tadesse Abraham of Switzerland became the first man over 40 years old to run a half marathon under 60 minutes. Abraham finished 14th overall in 59:53, breaking Haile Gebrselassie’s 40+ masters half marathon world record by one minute and 20 seconds.

Tadesse Abraham of Switzerland and Abdi Nageeye of Netherlands at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin. Photo: W/C

Abraham was one of 15 runners to dip under the 60-minute mark in Copenhagen. He averaged two minutes and 50 seconds per kilometre over the half-marathon distance of 21.1 kilometres.

He held a previous PB of 60:45 from the 2015 Barcelona Half Marathon, in which he won. Abraham set the Swiss marathon record of 2:06:38 in Zurich earlier this year. He finished 40 seconds shy of the Swiss half marathon record of 59:13 held by Julien Wanders.

“I don’t know what to say,” Abraham said on Instagram, “I am very happy and thank you all who helped me achieve my performance for myself and my country.”

Tadesse Abraham and Callum Hawkins at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Kevin Morris

Milkesa Mengesha of Ethiopia, the 2019 world U20 cross-country champion, beat a quality field to earn his second straight half marathon victory, winning in a personal best time of 58:58.

Canada’s half marathon record holder Rory Linkletter finished 45th in 64:28. “Today was a tough day,” wrote Linkletter, “But it was a step in the right direction in my TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon build. I am excited to put the finishing touches on my training block.”

In the women’s race, Ethiopia went one, two, three, with Tadu Teshome leading the way in 66:13. Tsigie Gebreselama was second in 66:35, while her compatriot Tiruye Mesfin was third, only nine seconds back.

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