After breaking the European U23 half marathon record in February with 60:09, Switzerland’s Julien Wanders broke his first European senior record at the City to Surf Run 10K in Durban, South Africa on Sunday (14).
Wanders, 22, lost contact with Uganda’s world 10,000m silver medallist Joshua Cheptegei in the latter kilometres but he still took a sizeable chunk off Mo Farah’s eight-year-old European record of 27:44, finishing second in 27:32 to Cheptegei’s 27:16.
Wanders was also the top European finisher at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, finishing eighth in 61:03.
He couldn’t quite transform that running onto the track this season with seventh and eighth-place finishes in the 10,000m and 5000m at the European Championships but Wanders has further demonstrated his prowess on the roads and his potential at the marathon.
European record alert!
Switzerland's Julien Wanders clocked 27:32 in the City Surf Run 10K in Durban to break Mo Farah's mark by 12 seconds. pic.twitter.com/S5lfX0Qd99
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) October 14, 2018
Wanders finished third in last year’s race in Durban in a national record of 28:13 before improving to 28:02 in Houilles in December to take the scalp of Ethiopia’s Jemal Yimer. Wanders outlined before the race that his goal was to improve his Swiss record.
“I hope so. I’m feeling in much better shape than last year. If we decide to push in the race, it could be a national record on Sunday,” he said.
Wanders didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of improving Farah’s European record prior to the race either. The course had been adjusted since last year to allow for faster times and Wanders also noted he didn’t enjoy good conditions when he clocked 28:02 in December.
“It is a possibility. We have to see how the race turns out on Sunday but it is in my mind,” he said on the European record.
“Even last time when I did 28:02, in good conditions I could have done much faster - around 27:30 or 27:40. I believe with a good course and in good conditions, I can go much faster than I did.”
Video courtesy of Norrie Williamson (http://www.coachnorrie.co.za)