Netsanet Kebede record as Geoffrey Kamworor seals three-peat

Ethiopia's Netsanet Kebede (centre) smiles on the podium after setting a new World Record time of 1:06.11 to win the IAAF Women's World Half Marathon Championships 2018 EPA/Miguel Angel Polo

Netsanet Kebede of Ethiopia clocked 66:11 to win the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship in what is a Women's Only World Record and also scrapped the championship record set by Lornah Kiplagat (66:25) back in Udine in 2007.

The men's side saw the triumph of Geoffrey Kamowor who completed a three-peat to win in a time of 60:02 and become the second Kenyan after Tegla Loroupe (1997, 1998, 1999) to seal the feat.

The last time an Ethiopian won the Women's event was back in 2012 when Merseret Hailu finished in 68:55 to take the honours in Karvana, Bulgaria.

Kebede beat off stiff competition from traditional rivals and neighbouring Kenyans who offered a tasty duel from the moment the starter gun went off.

The women passed the five kilometre mark at 15:39, a 66-minute pace and it was clear that the race was destined to be a fast one.

They went on to drop world champion in Marathon Rose Chelimo from Bahrain as the leading pack broke away from the chasers early to signal their intent.

World Half Marathon record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei started to lose ground past the 15km-mark but regained to overtake compatriot Pauline Kaveke to ensure the Kenyans scooped the silver and bronze in 66:54 and 66:56 respectively.

It was particularly special for Kamworor who broke away from the men's leading group just after 15 kilometers as the pre-race narrative was played out by the favourite in the second half.

Kamworor showed his amazing ability and left jaws dropping after clocking a stunning 13:01 in a 5km split time between 15 kilometers and 20 kilometers, a highlight that will go down in history and be replayed for ages. The time by itself could be a world-leading time for a 5000m track race.

It was clear that the impressive 25-year-old was headed for glory as he threw his hands in the air to highlight his might and crossed the tape for a third consecutive time.

Kenyan-born and Bahrain's Abraham Cheroben fought his way back for second place to finish in 60:22 ahead of Eritrean Aron Kifle, who finished nine seconds back in a personal best.