Joshua Cheptegei Breaks 10,000m World Record

Ayumba Ayodi & AFP

Joshua Cheptegei

Joshua Cheptegei broke the 10,000m track world record on Wednesday in Valencia with a time of 26 minutes 11.00 seconds.

He lowered the previous mark of 26:17.53 set by Kenenisa Bekele on August 26, 2005, in Brussels.

Kenya’s pacemaker Nicholas Kimeli guided Cheptegei through halfway in 13:07:73 before leaving Uganda to do the battle in a race that was guided by wave light.

This was the 24-year-old 10,000m world champion’s third world record this year and cemented his standing as the new middle distance maestro.

In February he claimed the world 5km road record in Monaco.

Then, after a period of coronavirus lockdown in his native Uganda, he returned to Monaco and, in his first race back, wiped almost two seconds off Bekele’s 16-year-old track world record time over the 5,000m as he clocked 12min 35.35sec.

Cheptegei served notice of his class when he took silver at the 2017 world championships in London when he was still just 20.

Last year he went one better, collecting gold in Doha. He had already won the world cross country championship five months earlier.

Up to Wednesday Cheptegei only had the 18th quickest time over the distance with a best in Doha of 26min 48.36secs, over half a minute outside the record.

 But his performance in August boded well and he was assisted by some rapid pacemakers, notably the Kenyan Nicholas Kimeli who was a world finalist over 5,000 metres.

Another factor was his footwear, Nike’s carbon-plated Nike Vaporfly worn by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey when she earlier on established a new women’s 5,000m world record of 14 minutes 6.62 seconds.

The 22-year-old lowered the previous mark of 14:11.15 held by her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba since 2008 by over four seconds.

It’s Kenya’s 3,000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, who guided Gidey through 3,000m in 8:38.8 before breaking compatriot Dibaba’s previous world record set in Oslo, Norway on June 6, 2008.

Gidey put up the run of her short career a year after taking 10,000m silver at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

With two pacemakers helping her record bid until the 3,000m marker Gidey maintained a ferocious pace to etch her name in athletics’ record books.

The performance of the double junior world cross country champion will reignite the debate over the carbon-plated Nike Vaporfly shoes she uses that have revolutionised road running.

Source: AFP

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