Ethiopian distance star to take on Antrim Coast event after Olympics
Ethiopian distance running sensation and second fastest women of all time (64 min 46 seconds), Yalemzerf Yehualaw has confirmed that the Antrim Coast Half Marathon will be one of only four events she will race in 2021, and the first after the Tokyo Olympics.
The athlete’s agent, confirmed Yehualaw will be making a serious attempt at the current Women’s World record (currently 64 min 31 sec) on the Antrim coast, and after watching last year’s race believe the fast course along with the amazing atmosphere will help get the best out of the 21-year-old.
Yehualaw’s Dutch Manager, Daan Van Den Berg told the Race organisers: “Yalemzerf will only do two half marathon’s this year, Istanbul and the Antrim Coast Half along with 2x 10,000metres before the Olympic Games.
”The Antrim Coast coming three weeks after the Olympics is perfect timing and we know if the Irish crowd get behind her she can break the world record as last year’s race looked brilliant, with 35 out of 62 runners recording personal bests.”
Yalemzerf Yehualaw finished third at last year’s World Championship after leading for most of the race before tripping on the finishing straight mat.
Yehualaw will be joined by Ethiopian team-mates Yitasyish Mekonnen and Tsehay Gemechu at this year’s event. Gemechu a two-time winner and course record holder at the prestigious New Delhi Half Marathon has a personal best from 2020 of 66 min 0 sec, as well as finishing fourth at the 2019 World Championships over 10,000metres and sixth at the World Cross country championships.
Gemechu, went on to break distance legend Tirunesh Dibaba’s Ethiopian 10km road record last year with a hugely impressive 30 min 15 seconds. The African stars will be joined by early confirmed British Internationals, Jo Pavey, Sam Harrison, Tracy Barlow and Kirsty Longley.
With nearly 30 elite men confirmed in the A and B races and still over five months out, the men’s race will be one of the greatest half-marathon fields ever assembled in the UK or Ireland.
The race organisers have made no secret of attacking the 60 minute barrier and already have a strong international line up, with four sub-60 minute runners already confirmed.
Making their first appearance ever in Ireland will be the African quartet of Tesfahun Akalnew from Uganda (59:22), Victor Kiplangat from Uganda (59:26 ), Abrar Osman from Eritrea (59:47) and up and coming Kenyan Daniel Mateiko (Kenyan World Cross-country 10km team 2021), all of whom will be attacking Sir Mo Farah’s course record of 60.27.
Last year’s second place, and two-time European record holder Marc Scott is one of the early confirmed entries.
Fresh off the back of his stunning 10,000 m run last month in Los Angeles, recording a time of 27:10 which places him second in the UK all-time list, Marc will be trying to go one place better at this year’s race.
Also returning will be GB Olympian and Berlin marathon fifth placer Scott Overall. Race organisers are also delighted to confirm Belfast native and Irish Olympian Paul Pollock will be taking to the start this year.
With over five months still to go the event have confirmed there will be major announcements to follow closer to the August race date.
Race organisers would like to also confirm that the mass entry is open and available to enter with the added option of insuring your entry for peace of mind.
The outdoor after party tickets headlined by the ‘Fisherman’s Friends’ will go on early sale locally on March 19 before wider circulation. Details can be found on the race website or through following the event on all social platforms www.antrimcoasthalfmarathon.com----
Click here to read Antrim Coast Half Marathon to become ‘significant’ international event
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers. Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.