Kenyan runner Sammy Wanjiru has broken the world record in the half marathon at a race in the United Arab Emirates.

Wanjiru won the Ras Al-Khaimah International Half Marathon over a strong field in Dubai in a time of 58 minutes and 53 seconds, beating the old mark by two seconds.

The 20-year-old thus reclaims the record from Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie. When he was officially considered a junior, Wanjiru set the half marathon mark of 59 minutes and 16 seconds in early 2005 in Rotterdam.

In Friday's race, Wanjiru ran against world champion Fabiano Joseph of Tanzania and Robert Cheruiyot, winner of the 2006 Boston and Chicago Marathons, plus a host of other top African runners. Kenyan Patrick Makau was second, 20 seconds back. Another 30 seconds back in third place was Ethiopian Deriba Merga.

The women's half marathon winner was Ethiopian Berhane Adere in 70 minutes and 58 seconds.

She finished four seconds ahead of compatriot Teyiba Erkesse, who was four seconds ahead of another Ethiopian in third place, Bizunesh Bekele.

Some information for this report was provided by AP .