Ethiopia's Ababel Yeshaneh breaks the half marathon world record by 20 seconds at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirat ©Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon)

Ababel Yeshaneh smashed the women's half marathon world record to set a new time 64min 31sec at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates today.

The Ethiopian, who finished 14th in the women's 5.000 metres final at the 2016 Olympic Game in Rio de Janeiro, took over a minute off her own personal best as she finished ahead of marathon world record holder, Kenya's Brigid Kosgei.

Kosgei, who ran 1:04:49, ran the second quickest legal time, having previous held the quickest on a course in Newcastle in the United Kingdom that was not eligible due to more downhill than elevation.

The former world record holder was Kosgei's team-mate Joyciline Jepkosgei who ran 1:04.51 in Valencia in 2017.

Yeshaneh was wearing the new Nike Vaporfly shoes, which continue to be a controversial talking point in athletics.

"I didn’t imagine this result," said Yeshaneh.

"I am a world record holder!”

Kenya's Kibiwott Kandie won the men's race in a time of 58:58, finishing 18 seconds ahead of compatriot Alexander Mutiso Munyao after pulling him in the final stages of the race.

Ethiopia's Mule Wasihun was third in 59:47.