Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw wrote her name in the history books on Sunday after she won the women’s Antrim Coast Half Marathon in Larne, Northern Ireland, breaking the world record in the process.
Yehualaw emerged victorious in a time of 1:03:44 shattering the previous record set by Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich of 1:04:02 in Istanbul in April by a massive 18 seconds.
The 22-year-old’s stunning victory also saw her become the first woman to run under 64 minutes for the half marathon. After the race, she described her feat as “a dream come true for me”.
“I have tried twice before to break the world record but it didn’t happen, but I’m so happy it happened today in Larne,” Yehualaw said.
Kenya’s 19-year-old Jane Nyaboke finished second in 1:09:45, just over six minutes behind Yehualaw, while Britain’s Rose Harvey was third in 1:10:29.
The men’s race was also won by an Ethiopian, Jemal Yimer, the national record holder, who crossed the finish line in 1:00:30 ahead of his compatriot Tesfahun Akalnew (1:00:31) and Kenya’s Shadrack Kimining (1:00:32).
Yimer, who will line up to make his marathon debut in Boston in October, said he was pleased with his win.
“I had prepared for a course record but due to the wind and the circumstances I didn’t make sub-60 but I am happy with the win.”