Monte-Carlo – Sept 28, 2012: With just one week to go to the 20th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, Kavarna, Bulgaria, Saturday 6 October 2012 – we take a brief look at a few of the big names expected to play key roles when the focus of the distance running world turns to this resort city on the Black Sea coast.
Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) is no stranger to IAAF World Championships. After winning the global title over 5000m in 2003 when he was just 19 years old, he has remained a consistently formidable force on the track since. Now 27, Kipchoge is ready to take to the roads. On 1 September he produced a sensational 59:25 performance at the Lille Half Marathon, the second fastest debut ever over the distance.
Then there is Zersenay Tadese (ERI), who has already earned the moniker of ‘Mr. Half Marathon’. A four-time champion (2006-2009) in this event, the 30-year-old Eritrean was second at the 2010 edition in Nanning and is still the World record holder over the distance with 58:23. He’s raced sparingly this year but finished a notable sixth in the Olympic 10,000m in August.
In the women’s race, Shalane Flanagan (USA) is on the short list of favourites. The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist at 10,000m has had a strong year on the roads, first winning the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in January and then the Lisbon Half Marathon in late March clocking 1:08:52.
Faster still is Elvan Abeylegesse (TUR), a former World record holder in the 5000m and a double Olympic silver medallist in 2008. The 30-year-old made an auspicious debut over the distance in Ras Al Khaimah in 2010 when clocking 1:07:07, which still ranks her as the ninth fastest woman ever.
Separate men’s and women’s team champions will also be crowned.
A maximum of seven athletes may be entered in each race; no more than five will be allowed to start, with three to score.
Each race shall be scored separately. The team results shall be decided by the aggregate of times recorded by the scoring athletes of each team. The team with the lowest aggregate of times will be judged the winner. If a team fails to finish with a complete scoring team, the runners finishing shall be counted as individuals in the race result and be eligible for the individual awards.
In the event of a tie, it shall be resolved in favour of the team whose last scoring member finishes nearer to first place. —- IAAF