Florence Kiplagat overtakes Linet Masai to lead a Kenyan 1-2 in the senior women's race (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Fast Half Marathon debut for F. Kiplagat in Lille

Kenyans Florence Kiplagat and Wilson Kiprop registered fast victories at the 25th edition of the Lille Half Marathon on Saturday (4).

In the women's race, Kiplagat, the 2009 World Cross Country champion, made her debut over the distance an auspicious one, clocking 1:07:40 to take a comfortable eight-second victory over Kenyan Peninah Arusei (1:07:48). Last year the 23-year-old Kiplagat broke the Kenyan record in the 10,000m with her 30:11.53 run in Utrecht, The Netherlands. With her brisk debut over 21.1 Km, Kiplagat finds herself well inside the event's top-20 all-time.

In a tight race on the men's side, Kiprop, the African 10,000m champion on the track, beat compatriot Bernard Kipyego by one second in 59:34. It was a massive improvement for the 23-year-old Kiprop, who chopped exactly one minute from his previous career best which was set last year in Berlin. The performances by Kiprop and Kipyego (59:40) were the sixth and seventh fastest performances of the year.

Silas Kipruto, also from Kenya, finished third in 59:52 to also dip under the 60-minute mark. About a minute back, Allan Ndiwa (1:00:45), Abdellatif Meftah (1:00:46) and Jairus Chanchima (1:00:57) another Kenyan, all reached the finish in under 61 minutes.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF