London, United Kingdom | AFP | Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele broke Mo Farah’s course record as he won the London half-marathon on Sunday in a time of one hour and 22 seconds.
Bekele took 1min 18sec off the record set in 2019 by British distance great Farah, who missed this year’s edition with an achilles injury.
Britain’s Christopher Thompson finished second, with Jake Smith third.
Sunday’s event served as a warm-up event for the full London Marathon on April 26. That race is set to see Bekele go up against Eliud Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic champion from Kenya, as the two fastest marathon runners of all time meet in the British capital.
“The new course record is a great bonus. I wasn’t focused on time today, I just wanted to win,” Bekele, three times an Olympic gold medallist on the track, told the BBC.
“I’m on schedule in my preparation for the London Marathon in April.
“There’s no question about the crowds in London being great. They were cheering all around the course and it felt like a great place to be.”
Farah decided to concentrate on the marathon having won gold in the 5,000 metres and 10,000 metres at both the London and Rio Games, but a relative lack of success on the road has seen him turn his attention back to the track ahead of this year’s Olympics in Tokyo.