Sifan Hassan breaks the European Record at the Copenhagen Half Marathon


Sifan Hassan showed at Sunday’s Copenhagen Half Marathon (IAAF Gold Label Race) that she is not only a world-class runner on the track

Sifan Hassan right after the finish. (Photo: Zuzana Zeminová)
Sifan Hassan right after the finish. (Photo: Zuzana Zeminová)

In near perfect weather conditions, the 25-year-old Dutchman lowered the European Record from 2007 with more than a minute, winning in 65:15 minutes – only 24 seconds short of a new World Record. The Kenyan favorite, Joan Chelimo Melly, had to settle with a 3rdplace after having lead most of the race. Melly looked to be on a way to a new world record splitting the first 5K in 15:06. Only Hassan could catch up with that pace, although she several times looked to lose the grip on the Kenyan.

“I often thought I was going to die! The pace was so hard, but I just kept coming back,” Hassan said after the race, which could be called her debut, although she did run a – much slower - half marathon back in 2011.

Melly’s pace dropped significantly on the last kilometer, and at the last stage Abadel Yeshaneh Brihane (ETH) took the 2ndplace in a PB of 65:46 – also well below the course record set last year.

The Danish organizers had hoped for a world record in the men’s race. World records, however, do not come that easy. The first 10K proved to be too slow with a big leading group splitting in 28:10. Daniel Kipchumba (KEN) won in 59:06, equalizing his best time set back in April when he won in Lago Maggiore Half Marathon. 

“I am very happy. I wanted to push the pace at 15K, but I found conditions to be too windy, and so I stayed in the group,” said the 21-year-old Kenyan, who will be attempting a new fast half marathon time in New Delhi on October 21st.

With the first eight men finishing in a time below one hour, CPH Half once again proved to be one of fastest half marathon races in the world.

 “This is a fantastic race. I was here in 2014 for the Worlds and it has grown even bigger since then. Great course, very fast course and with a European record by Sifan, which is absolutely stunning. And 22,000 runners enjoyed it. That’s what it is all about!” says Norrie Williamson, technical delegate from IAAF for the CPH Half. 

”We staged a festive celebration with 22.000 participants and we displayed epic Copenhagen in the best possible way. We also need to mention the elite results: A European record for the women and a fantastic exiting race. It is also the first time ever that ten men run a half marathon that fast ever throughout the world. This year’s CPH Half has been a fantastic experience and by far the best version,” says Jakob Larsen, CEO, The Danish Athletics Federation.  

Dorte Vibjerg, CEO, Sparta, adds: ”It has been a great journey for us i Sparta. In just four years, we have advanced from staging a recreational run to staging an international gold label race that embraces both elite and recreational runners. We do this for the sport and we could not pull it off without the fantastic support from the 1200 volunteers and helping clubs. This is essential for us in order to succeed with a world-class event like this. 

“Copenhagen Half Marathon is a legacy from the World Half Marathon Championships in 2014. This year’s record number of foreign runners is great and contributes to the branding of Denmark as running nation and destination,” says Lars Lundov, CEO, Sport Event Denmark, which is one of the partners behind the event.  



Sifan Hassan right after the finish. (Photo: Zuzana Zeminová)
Sifan Hassan right after the finish. (Photo: Zuzana Zeminová)


Information om Sparta Atletik og Motion

Sparta Atletik og Motion
Sparta Atletik og Motion
Gunnar Nu Hansens Plads 11
2100 København Ø

35 26 69 00

Copenhagen Half Marathon er med helt fremme, når det kommer til verdens bedste halvmaratons. I 2017 var det suverænt det hurtigste halvmaraton i verden med hele tre løbere under 59.00 minutter. Ud over den absolutte verdenselite så deltager der også et kæmpe motionsfelt med mere end 20.000 løbere. Arrangørerne af Copenhagen Half Marathon er Sparta Atletik & Motion og Dansk Atletik Forbund.

Den første udgave af Copenhagen Half Marathon fandt sted i 2015 og var et udspring af det succesrige VM i halvmaaton, som blev afholdt i København i 2014. Målsætningen har fra starten været at lave verdens bedste og hurtigst halvmaraton, og den er målsætningen er i manges øjne opfyldt.

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