Joshua Cheptegei breaks 10,000m track world record  in Valencia

Written By: Bernard Okumu

World 10,000m champion Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei has broken the 15 year old 10,000m record after posting  26mins 11.00 seconds.

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He lowered the previous mark of 26min 17.53sec set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2005 in Brussels.

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.

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Then, after a period of corona virus lock down 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.

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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.

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“It was my dream. We are trying to write history on the track and make people to know that track is still exciting,” the 10,000m world champion,

I think this is just the foundation of what I want to achieve in years to come.”said the double commonwealth champion.

Another factor was his footware, Nike’s carbon-plated Nike Vapor fly.

Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia also established a new women’s 5,000m record.

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Gidey crossed the line in 14:06:65 to smash Tirunesh Dibaba’s 12-year-old world record of 14:11:15 in the women’s 5,000m.

The Ethiopian was a picture of calm from the starting gun to the finish line, upping the pace on each lap to finish almost five seconds ahead of the previous best time.

“This is a long-term dream and I’m very happy,” the 22-year-old said.

“It is very nice (for Ethiopia). Before it was Tirunesh Dibaba, and now it’s me,’’ said Gidey.


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