Previews12 Sep 2014

Course records under threat at Usti nad Labem Half Marathon


Atsedu Tsegay wins the 2012 Hervis Prague Half Marathon (© Organisers)

Many of the athletes who competed in last weekend’s Prague Grand Prix 10km will stay in the Czech Republic for the Mattoni Half Marathon in Usti nad Labem on Sunday (14) to compete against the fourth-fastest half-marathon runner in history at the IAAF Silver Label Road Race.

Ethiopian record-holder Atsedu Tsegay will return to the country where he clocked 58:47 two years ago, looking to break the course record of 1:00:38 set last year by Philemon Limo.

But he will be up against two other runners with personal bests faster than an hour. Simon Cheprot, who has a PB of 59:20, represented Kenya at this year’s IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Azmeraw Bekele has represented Ethiopia at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and has a half-marathon best of 59:39.

Kenya’s Nicholas Bor is also poised to challenge for another podium finish after finishing third in Prague last week in a PB of 27:38.

The women's field will be led by several performers who already have excellent credentials in the Czech Republic.

Ethiopia’s Firehiwot Dado is the 2011 New York City Marathon champion and she won the Volkswagen Prague Marathon earlier this year in 2:23:34, the second-fastest time of her career.

Correti Jepkoech, who last weekend won in Prague with a 10km PB of 31:05, will want to build upon her recent success. Both she and Dado could realistically attack the course record of 1:09:07.

So too could Seoul Marathon champion Helah Kiprop, who has the fastest half-marathon PB of the field with 1:07:19. Fellow Kenyan Flomena Chepchirchir, who has clocked 1:08:06 for the half marathon and 2:23:00 for the marathon, should also be in the mix for the podium places.

Organisers for the IAAF