Chelangat (66:47) and Amghar (59:47) Triumph at Istanbul Half Marathon Despite Rainy Conditions

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Sheila Chelangat, a Kenyan runner, delivered a stunning performance to win the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon, clocking a remarkable 66:47 despite adverse weather conditions. This personal best was achieved amid rainy weather and slippery roads. Fellow Kenyan debutant Miriam Chebet secured second place with 67:14, while Ethiopia’s Zewditu Aderaw came third with 68:17. Eight women runners finished within the 69:00 mark, showcasing the race's competitive depth. In the men's race, Morocco's Hicham Amghar, who was the runner-up in 2023, took first place with a personal best of 59:47. Ethiopia’s Dinkalem Ayele and Gemechu Bute secured second and third places with times of 59:55 and 60:03, respectively.

The 19th edition of the Türkiye Is Bankasi Istanbul Half Marathon, a World Athletics Gold Label Road Race, saw a record 14,200 runners, including participants in a parallel 10k race.

Chelangat, ranked tenth on the starting list with a previous best of 69:38, took an early lead, benefiting from a pacemaker to maintain a fast pace. She never faced a serious challenge, even though the rainy conditions made the roads slippery. After the race, Chelangat expressed her joy at the win despite the weather, calling it her biggest career victory so far. Chelangat, who debuted at the Lille Half Marathon last month, said she isn't planning a marathon debut yet.

The race for second place between Miriam Chebet and Zewditu Aderaw continued until around 13k, when Chebet pulled ahead. In her debut half marathon, former European 5,000 m champion Meraf Bahta finished in 16th position with a time of 72:51. She was the best European runner but failed to meet the qualifying standard for the continental championships in Rome, missing it by over a minute.

The men's race had a larger leading group at the 10k mark with a time of 28:39. Dinkalem Ayele, who won the Lisbon Half Marathon earlier this year, was among the leaders along with Hicham Amghar and Gemechu Bute. As the race progressed, Amghar took the lead around the 17k mark, with Ayele and Bute close behind. After narrowly missing the victory last year, Amghar ensured his place as the winner this time, improving his personal best by six seconds with a time of 59:47.

Amghar expressed satisfaction with his performance, saying that despite the rain, he was happy with the results, noting that he prefers rain to wind. The 29-year-old winner hinted at returning to Istanbul for his marathon debut in November due to the excellent treatment of elite runners by the organizers.

In other results, Canada’s Cameron Levins was the fastest non-African runner, finishing in eighth place with a time of 60:38, missing his national record by just 20 seconds. Eduardo Garcia from the Virgin Islands set a new national record with 63:53, placing 29th. Meanwhile, reigning European half marathon champion Tadesse Abraham of Switzerland, who recently suffered a personal loss, finished 24th with 63:18. Despite his struggles, he said he was satisfied with his performance, considering the emotional turmoil he had experienced.

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