More challengers for Kenyan champ expected with extended deadline for entries to Cardiff world championship
World half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor can expect unexpected challenge in his battle to retain the title he won in Copenhagen last year.
With just under 100 days to go to the championship in Cardiff, Wales, preliminary entries do not close until January 26.
There are, therefore high hopes that the number of participants will eventually exceed the 203 runners from 56 IAAF Member Federations that competed at the hugely successful 2014 edition in Copenhagen as a host of top athletes can be expected to beat the January deadline date of entry.
Kamworor, who is the reigning world cross country champion has already declared his intention to defend his title and has audaciously stated, “If the conditions and the course is okay, I will attempt to break the world record in Cardiff.”
The half marathon world record stands at 58:23 to Zersenay Tadese, which the Eritrean ran in 2010, but few who have seen Kamworor in action in the last two years doubt the man who also won the 2015 world cross country title before taking the 10,000m silver medal at the IAAF world championships in Beijing has the talent to add this record to his list of accolades on the right day.
Joining Kamworor and the rest of the elite international runners chasing the first prize of $30,000 (Sh3million) for both men and women will be an estimated 20,000 members of the general public, who will get the chance to “Run in the Footsteps of Champions” by competing on the same 21km route around Cardiff at the same time as the world’s best men and women.
Matt Newman, chief executive of the IAAF/Cardiff University world half marathon Cardiff 2016 organisers Run 4 Wales, commented last week: “With 100 days to go until the IAAF/Cardiff University world half marathon championships, there is a real buzz around the city.
“It’s been great to see so many people from the Welsh sporting scene giving their support to the event.
“Preparations are now well underway for the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships and we are looking forward to a spectacular event to make Cardiff and Wales proud.