Report06 Apr 2024

Sawe sets race record to win Prague Half Marathon


Sabastian Sawe wins the Prague Half Marathon (© Getty Images)

World half marathon champion Sabastian Sawe improved the 14-year-old race record by winning the Prague Half Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label road race, in a world-leading PB of 58:24 on Saturday (6).

The 29-year-old was racing just a week after finishing seventh at the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, where he formed part of Kenya’s gold medal-winning senior men’s team.

But he showed no signs of fatigue as he took control of the race in warm conditions in Prague. Despite running the second half solo, he maintained his pace and managed to take five seconds off his PB to claim a dominant win ahead of his compatriots Geofry Toroitich Kipchumba (1:00:01) and Patrick Mosin (1:00:15).

The women’s race was much closer and after exchanging the lead from 15km, Ethiopia’s Gete Alemayehu eventually strode away from Kenya’s Jesca Chelangat to win in 1:08:10. Chelangat finished three seconds behind the winner, while Ethiopia’s Nigsti Haftu was third in 1:09:30.

Gete Alemayehu wins the Prague Half Marathon

Gete Alemayehu wins the Prague Half Marathon (© Getty Images)

In the men’s race, the lead group set off behind two pacemakers and quickly created a gap on the rest of the field.

With the pacemakers gone, Sawe took charge and led through 5km in 13:48. As he forged ahead, his rivals couldn’t stick with the pace and by 10km Sawe was running alone. He passed that point in 27:32, nine seconds ahead of his compatriots Gideon Kiprotich Rop and Mosin.

Sawe increased his advantage to 45 seconds by 15km, which he reached in 41:25, and he continued untroubled to pick up his pace in sight of the finish line, which he crossed in 58:24.

Improving his PB, he moved from 14th to 12th on the world all-time list.

Behind Kipchumba and Mosin, Rop ran 1:00:45 and Jackson Muema 1:02:01 to complete a Kenyan top five.

In the women’s race, Alemayehu and Chelangat ran together through 5km in 15:43 but Alemayehu dropped back as Chelangat followed the pacemaker through 10km in 31:26. Alemayehu was 11 seconds behind Chelangat at that point but as the race approached 15km, Alemayehu caught and then passed her rival.

That lead was short-lived and Chelangat responded as they fought for top spot behind the pacemaker.

But as the race reached the closing stages, Alemayehu had a look of concentration on her face as she moved away from Chelangat and she managed to hold on to that lead, winning by three seconds in 1:08:10.

Kenya’s Vivian Jepkemei Melly followed Haftu over the finish line to finish fourth in 1:09:33, while Turkiye’s Sultan Haydar was fifth in 1:09:48.

Leading results

1 Gete Alemayehu (ETH) 1:08:10
2 Jesca Chelangat (KEN) 1:08:13
3 Nigsti Haftu (ETH) 1:09:30
4 Vivian Jepkemei Melly (KEN) 1:09:33
5 Sultan Haydar (TUR) 1:09:48

1 Sabastian Sawe (KEN) 58:24
2 Geofry Toroitich Kipchumba (KEN) 1:00:01
3 Patrick Mosin (KEN) 1:00:15
4 Gideon Kiprotich Rop (KEN) 1:00:45
5 Jackson Muema (KEN) 1:02:01

Pages related to this article