At the prestigious World Athletics Gold Label road competition, the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, on Saturday, Daniel Mateiko and Tsigie Gebreselama triumphed in an impressive feat of athletics.

Mateiko, competing in Ras Al Khaimah for the third time, illuminated the misty morning with an outstanding performance, clocking in at a world-leading time of 58:45. His five-second lead over compatriot John Korir secured him the top spot, while Isaia Lasoi completed the Kenyan sweep by finishing third with a time of 58:55.

The women’s competition witnessed Ethiopia’s Tsigie Gebreselama, a silver medallist in world cross country, surpassing her personal best by over half a minute, crossing the finish line in 1:05:14. Gebreselama outpaced Ababel Yeshaneh by 30 seconds, with the 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon champion settling for second place. Tanzanian runner Jackline Sakilu created a stir by claiming the third spot and setting a national record of 1:06:05, surpassing her personal best by more than three minutes.

Image © Aman-@angasurunning.

This year’s race marked a significant departure as it was exclusively held on the swift and flat roads of Al Marjan Island. Despite challenging weather conditions that limited visibility to around 50 meters at the finish line, the elite runners displayed remarkable resilience.

Mateiko strategically positioned himself at the forefront, executing a decisive move in the final kilometer, leaving Korir and Lasoi to chase him to the finish line. Expressing his elation, Mateiko, a 25-year-old Kenyan, dedicated his victory to Kelvin Kiptum, the marathon world record-holder who tragically lost his life in a road traffic accident earlier this month. The triumph held special significance for Mateiko, who finished sixth in his debut in 2022 and was the runner-up last year.


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“The conditions were very challenging – it was windy, humid, and a bit foggy – making this win the most significant of my career so far,” exclaimed Mateiko.

In the women’s event, Gebreselama’s stellar performance underscored why she is regarded as one of Ethiopia’s brightest prospects. Breaking away from the lead women’s group with Yeshaneh after passing 15km in 46:42, Gebreselama surged ahead to claim victory.

“I am thrilled to have achieved a personal best today,” said the 23-year-old, expressing her aspirations of breaking the half marathon world record in her promising career.

Olympic marathon champion Jepchirchir, a pre-race favorite and three-time half marathon world champion, faced adversity when her shoe slipped off early in the race, costing her at least 20 seconds.

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon once again served as a stage for outstanding achievements and unforgettable moments in the world of road racing.