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Athletics-Kenya's Chepngetich smashes half marathon record in Istanbul

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Athletics - London Marathon - London, Britain - October 4, 2020 Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich during the elite women's race of the London Marathon Pool via REUTERS/John Sibley

April 4 (Reuters) - Kenya's Ruth Chepngetich smashed the world half marathon record on Sunday, clocking a time of one hour, four minutes and two seconds at the N Kolay Istanbul Half Marathon to shave 29 seconds off the previous mark.

The 26-year-old, a winner in 2017 and 2019, sprinted away from Ethiopia's Yalemzerf Yehualaw across the final stages of the race to win by 38 seconds.

"Istanbul is my city, I love running here," Chepngetich, who also won the Istanbul Marathon in 2017 and 2018, said.

"The world record is something I have been dreaming about for some time and I am so happy to do it on the streets of Istanbul. I'm really happy for this amazing result."

Kenyan Hellen Obiri, a two-timeworld 5,000 metreschampion, finished third in 1:04:51 -- the fastest debut half marathon in history -- to mark the first time three women had finished inside 65 minutes in one half marathon.

Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya won the men's race in 59:35.

Kandie, who set the world record in Valencia last year, raced into the lead with about 12 minutes remaining and held off the challenge of compatriot Geoffrey Kamworor to claim victory by three seconds, with Roncer Kipkorir taking third place.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru

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