Zane Robertson smashes New Zealand half-marathon record in Japan

NEW RECORD: Zane Robertson in action for NZ at the Commonwealth Games.
Fairfax NZ

NEW RECORD: Zane Robertson in action for NZ at the Commonwealth Games.

Zane Robertson has run a sensationally quick time in finishing second at the Marugame Half Marathon in Kagawa, Japan, today.

The African-based Robertson, bronze medallist in the 5000m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, battled for the lead throughout the international race with a number of Kenyan and Japanese athletes before settling down to duel out the last few kilometres with Japan-based Kenyan Paul Kuira.

Robertson took the lead briefly towards the finish, before being run down by the Kenyan in the last 20 metres, with both runners recording a finishing time of 59 minutes 47 seconds over 21.1km in their debuts at the distance.

That time was two minutes and 25 seconds faster than the listed New Zealand record held by Rod Dixon and set in the United States in 1981. It also beat the previous Oceania record set by Australian Darren Wilson of 1:00.02.

The world all-time rankings in the half-marathon are dominated by Africans, with the world record belonging to Eritrean Zersenay Tadese at 58.23. The 25-year-old Robertson became just the fourth non-African to run the distance in under one hour.

Robertson will be returning to New Zealand to race over 5000m at the Auckland Track Challenge against his twin brother Jake, Nick Willis, Augustine Choge from Kenya and several leading Australians on February 26 and at the New Zealand Championships in Wellington from March 6-8.

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