February 16, 2014 / 2:53 PM / 5 years ago

Kiplagat sets half marathon world record in Barcelona

Florence Kiplagat of Kenya reacts after winning the 40th Berlin marathon, September 29, 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

(Reuters) - Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat set a world record for the women’s half marathon with a blistering performance at a race in Barcelona on Sunday, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said.

The 26-year-old recorded a time of one hour five minutes and 12 seconds, beating the previous best of 1:05:50 set by compatriot Mary Keitany in Ras Al Khaimah in February 2011.

Kiplagat’s fastest time over the distance before Sunday was 1:06:38, in Ostia in February 2012, and she finished more than seven minutes ahead of second-placed Nicola Duncan of Britain.

“This is a not a day I will forget, I’m so happy,” Kiplagat said on the IAAF website (www.iaaf.org).

“The circuit was very fast and I really want to thank my pace makers, Marc Roig and Stanley Siroro, they did a great job,” she added.

“I felt so well from the beginning and the weather was perfect, so I had the feeling that this could be a special day.”

Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie broke the men’s pole vault world record in Ukraine on Saturday and Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba set the fastest ever women’s indoor two-mile time at the British Grand Prix in Birmingham.

Additional reporting by Gene Cherry, writing by Iain Rogers in Madrid, editing by Ed Osmond

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