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Joyciline Jepkosgei to highlight Barcelona Half Marathon

Joyciline Jepkosgei will seek to go one step further and win the Barcelona Half Marathon on Sunday after finishing second last year.

Barcelona returns to the Spanish city where she clocked 01:04:46 behind winner Irine Kimais (01:04:37) while Catherine Reline (01:05:39) and Gladys Chepkurui (01:05:46) finished third and fourth.

Jepkosgei warmed up for the event with a second-place finish during Saturday’s Sirikwa Classic Cross Country Tour, timing 33:10 in the senior women’s 10km race at Lobo Village, Eldoret.  Immaculate Anyango won the race in 32:55.

Jepkosgei was using the Lobo event for speed training. “I will be competing at the Barcelona Half Marathon on Sunday and I wanted to use the cross country as part of my training ahead of the Spanish race,” said Jepkosgei.

In November 2019, Jepkosgei won the New York City Marathon in her official debut, clocking 2:22:38, the second fastest time on the course for women.

The 30-year-old further won the 2021 London Marathon in 2:17:43 making her the seventh fastest female marathoner in history.

She placed seventh at the 2022 Boston Marathon before finishing second at the London Marathon (2:18:07) behind Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw (2:17:26).  She finished second at the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships.

At the 2017 Prague Half Marathon, she broke four world records — 30:05 over 10k, 45:37 over 15k, 61:25 in 20k and won the race in a record 1:04:52.

Joining her in the elite women’s race will be two-time Chicago Marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich.

The 29-year-old first won the Chicago Marathon in 2021 before defending it the following year in 2:14:18, a personal best by almost three minutes and just 14 seconds outside of compatriot Brigid Kosgei’s then world record of 2:14.04.

Also in the mix is 2023 Bangsaen21 Half Marathon champion Gladys Chepkurui.

Leading the men’s elite race is Valencia Half Marathon champion Kibiwott Kandie.

Kandie set a new half marathon world record with a time of 57:32 in the 2020 Valencia Half marathon, obliterating the previous record set by Geoffrey Kamworor by almost half a minute.

He won the race two more times — 2022 and 2023.

Kandie set a course record of 59:32 at the Istanbul Half Marathon in 2021.

He will be joined by Bahrain Half Marathon champion Philemon Kiplimo, Mathew Kimeli nd Hillary Kipkoech.

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