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IAAF org.: Sun Yingjie sets National Record to take World Title on Asian soil

World Half Marathon title on Sunday morning in New Delhi


Sunday 3 October 2004 World 10,000 metres bronze-medallist Sun Yingjie cruised to victory to win the IAAF World Half Marathon title on Sunday morning in New Delhi.

Sun Yingjie, fittingly on the first occasion the Championship race has been held on Asian soil
, won in a Chinese national record time of one hour eight minutes and 40 seconds.

Behind the joint pre-race favourite, Kenyas Lydia Cheromei fought back after struggling midway through the 13.1miles race, to claim the silver medal in a personal best 1:09:00.

Early pacemaker Constantina Tomescu-Dita took third place for Romania in a time of 1:09:07 as the 40,000 crowd roared its support as the medallists entered the Nehru Stadium.

Irelands Sonia OSullivan running her second half marathon in seven days and expected to have been the strongest challenger for the gold medal alongside Sun Yingjie, finished fourth in 1:10:33.

Ethiopia led home by sixth placed Eyerrusalem Kuma, claimed the team title, their three runners totalling a time of 3:36:00 ahead of Romania and Russia.

But it was a very close close affair. Only eight seconds prevented the Romanians notching a seventh success while Russia, last years champions clocked a time of 3:38:21 for the bronze-medals.

"Im very happy but also surprised to win this race because the standard of athlete was so high," said a delighted Sun Yingjie who shattered her five-year-old personal best of 70:22.

But last summers World 10,000m bronze-medallist always looked the likeliest gold medallist after OSullivan, undertaking a second half marathon in seven days fell away.

That came just after the 5K point when Cheromei injected such a fierce change in the speed of the race, both herself and Sun Yingjie went well clear of their rivals.

Tomescu-Dita who in her traditional manner ...

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