By Alan Baldwin | for Reuters,
Half Marathon record holder Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea has joined Britain’s Mo Farah and Kenya’s reigning champion Geoffrey Kamworor in an elite field for the world championships in Cardiff on March 26.
Tadese, 34, has held the record of 58 minutes 23 seconds since March 2010 and will be chasing his 14th world Half Marathon championship medal in a career haul that includes six golds.
The Eritrean won four successive individual titles between 2006 and 2009 and took a fifth in 2012.
Five Eritrean runners finished in the top 10 in Copenhagen two years ago and their team for Cardiff will include Nguse Amlosom, who was fifth, and Samsom Gebreyohannes, who was eighth, as well as Tadese.
Kamworor is hoping to join Tadese and Kenya’s Paul Tergat as only the third man to win back-to-back Half Marathon titles, and is also eyeing the Eritrean’s record on the streets of the Welsh city.
Kenya will also be looking to Bedan Karoki, silver medallist at the 2015 world cross country championships, who is unbeaten in four Half Marathons.
Farah, the double Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres champion who is expected to defend his titles in Rio in August, is aiming to become the first British male runner to win the world Half Marathon title since the event started in 1992.
FACTS: Zersenay Tadese
In the 24-year history of the event, no athlete has been more successful than Zersenay Tadese. The Eritrean won four successive individual titles between 2006 and 2009, settled for silver in 2010 and then returned to the top of the podium in 2012 to take his fifth individual gold medal.
Although he missed an individual medal two years ago in Copenhagen, he still collected another gold medal as Eritrea won the team competition. It brought his World Half Marathon Championships medal tally to 13, six of which are gold.
If Kanya’s Geoffrey Kamworor successfully defends his title in Cardiff on March 26, he would join Tadese and Paul Tergat (Kenyan) as just the third man to win back-to-back titles at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.