Florence Kiplagat wins the 2010 World Half Marathon title in Nanning (Getty Images) © Copyright
Komon, 22, clocked 26:44 over 10Km on the road at the Singelloop in Utrecht on 26 September to smash the previous World record and burst through the event’s 27-minute barrier. His Kenyan compatriot Kiplagat, 23, claimed the second World title of her career in Nanning last month, adding to the World Cross Country crown she claimed in 2009.
Celebrating its 27th edition this weekend, this eastern Dutch city’s course has proven on many occasions to be a fast one. Sixteen of the fastest 20 men’s times over the distance have been recorded here; on the women’s side, the course boasts 11 of the top 20. It’s also the same course where Tirunesh Dibaba set the World 10Km Road record on 15 November last year when she clocked 46:28. With 23,000 runners expected, the Zevenheuvelenloop is also traditionally one of the largest annual events in The Netherlands.
The fastest times of this year over 15Km this year, 42:46 by Lelisa Denisa Beni of Ethiopia and 47:57 by Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, both set in Utica on 11 July, will be in danger.
In the men’s race Komon will face some strong opposition, including his experienced compatriot Felix Limo, who set the current World record over the 15Km distance here in 2001 when he clocked 41:29. Other contenders include Ethiopians Ayele Abshiro who finished second here two years ago clocking 42:17 and his teammates Abera Kuma and Berhanu Delale; and Kenyans Joseph Birech and Moses Mosop, the winner at this year’s Stramilano Half Marathon. Others in the hunt include Mustafa Mohamed of Sweden, Ryan Vail of the USA, and Kazuya Watanabe of Japan.
Kiplagat is the hot favourite in the women’s race. She clocked 1:08:24 in Nanning on 16 October, five weeks after clocking a 1:07:24 personal best in Lille. Her main challengers include Benita Willis of Australia, Ethiopian Genet Getaneh, Sayo Nomura and Aki Odagiri of Japan, and Kenyans Valentine Kipketer and Beatrice Misoi.
Sunday’s weather forecast calls for temperatures of 7-8 degrees, light winds and dry conditions.
Wim van Hemert for the IAAF