Christelle Daunay and Valeria Straneo both ran season’s best times as they became the leading European women at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen on Saturday.
Daunay, of France, and Straneo, of Italy, were seventh and eighth respectively in a race dominated by Kenya, who took the first five places, led by winner Gladys Cherono who triumphed in 1:07:28.
Daunay finished in 1:08:47 with Straneo in 1:08:54, but it was the support of the Italian’s colleagues - Vernonica Inglese, 22nd in 1:10:56, Nadia Ejjafini, 29th in 1:12:04, and Fatna Maraoui, 38th in 1:12:49 - which saw the country finish fourth in the team event.
France were sixth in the team race, with Daunay supported by Alexandra Louison, 30th in 1:12:05, Corinne Herbreteau, 55th in 1:15:26, and Aline Camboulives, 69th in 1:17:45.
The two races – the women’s started 25 minutes before the men’s – took in all the great sites of this beautiful Danish capital, starting and finishing outside the Christiansborg Castle with a route that saw the runners pass the Tivoli Gardens.
In the individual standings, Hungary’s Krisztina Papp was 11th in 1:10:07, Great Britain’s Alyson Dixon was 18th in 1:10:37, a personal best, Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal, of Norway, was 20th in 1:00:52, a season’s best, while just behind her in 21st was Spain’s Alessandra Aguilar in 1:00:55, also a personal best time.
It was a race where the Kenyans were never going to be beaten, with Mary Ngugi taking silver in 1:07:43 and Selly Chepyego Kaptich finishing third in 1:07:51.
Turkey’s Polat Kemboi Arikan, the European 10,000m champion, achieved another personal landmark for the country when he broke the national record as he finished 16th in 1:01:21 in the men’s race which saw Kenya achieve a golden double as Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor won in 59:07, the best time in the world this year.
Arikan finished a place ahead of Spain’s Ayad Lamdassem but he had the same time, 1:01:21, which was a personal best, with France’s El Hassane Ben Lkhainouch also running his quickest time in 20th in 1:01:30 and Italy’s Daniele Meucci 27th in a season’s best of 1:01:56.
Behind Kamworor, Eritrea's Samuel Tsegay was second in 59:20, the same time as Guye Adola, of Ethiopia, in third with Eritrean Zersenay Tadese's bid for a sixth title ending with him fourth in 59:37.