New women's record for Shanghai Half Marathon
A new women's record has been set for the Shanghai Half Marathon, with 15,000 runners taking part in the 21-kilometer race from the landmark Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Pudong on Sunday morning.
After three years of absence, elite runners from overseas also returned.
The women's competition was fierce, with Ethiopian runners Alemaddis Eyayu Sisay and Enatnesh Alamrew Tirusew crossing the finish line at almost the same time, clocking 1:10:15, breaking Shanghai Half Marathon's previous record of 1:10:46.
China's Xu Shuangshuang placed third, clocking 1:11:30.
The top three male finishers are all from Kenya. Ezra Kipketer Tanui was the first to cross the finish line which was set at the SPD Bank Oriental Sports Center, clocking 1:01:52. He was followed by Isaac Kipkemboi (1:01:54) and Felix Kiptoo Kirwa (1:01:55).
China's Xie Dongsheng and Xu Wenhao finished fourth and fifth.
"This is my first visit to Shanghai," said champion Tanui. "It's a pity I didn't break the record, though my personal best was within one hour … I will come back next year!"
Currently, the men's record of Shanghai Half Marathon is 1:01:36.
Apart from prize money, the top 200 male finishers and top 100 female finishers have won themselves entry to the 2023 Shanghai Marathon, which is scheduled for the latter half of the year.
Three Japanese student runners were also invited to this year's race. They are all junior students from Kokugakuin University's track and field team.
Tsuru Genta finished sixth in the men's race, clocking 1:04:15. Genta took part in this year's Tokyo-Hakone Round-Trip College Ekiden Race, one of the most prominent university ekiden (relay marathon) races held between Tokyo and Hakone.
"This is the first time I have visited Shanghai. It's such a modern and busy city," said Genta, who used to play football, but later found himself more gifted in long-distance running.
His schoolmates Hirabayashi Kiyoto and Sato Kaisei also made their maiden Shanghai trip.
"My father was good at running too. He and I went to the same middle school," said Kiyoto. "He created a school record in 3km, which triggered my ambition to practice running and overtake him – which I did."
Running, together with football and basketball, are popular sports among Japanese youngsters. The young runners said that a lot of Japanese youngsters are inspired by sport-themed cartoon and animation, and decided to practice sports.
According to the organizers, 98.3 percent of the runners managed to complete this year's Shanghai Half Marathon.
A total of 23 medical sites and 18 ambulances were arranged along the route to assure runners' safety. Some 1,825 students sent by seven Shanghai colleges provided voluntary services for the event.