Joshua Cheptegei smashed the men’s 10,000 metres record and Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey demolished the women’s 5,000 metres mark because the Valencia record Day event lived up to its name on Wednesday.
Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei smashed the men’s 10,000 metres record and Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey demolished the women’s 5,000 metres mark because the Valencia record Day event lived up to its name on Wednesday.
Cheptegei crossed the road at a near-empty Turia stadium during a stunning 26 minutes 11.02 seconds to beat the time of 26:17:53 set in 2005 by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele by over six seconds.
The achievement capped an impressive 12 months for Cheptegei, 24, who won the trophy within the 10,000 eventually year’s World Championships in Doha, and in August took Bekele’s 5,000m record at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco. Last December, also in Valencia, Cheptegei smashed a decade-long record in 10km road racing by six seconds.
Only 400 people including sponsors, journalists and staff were allowed into the event thanks to strict coronavirus measures in Spain but Cheptegei still savoured the instant with a lap of honour, wrapped within the Uganda flag and wearing a crown.
Cheptegei’s outstanding display finished off an ideal event from the organiser’s point of view after Gidey, 22 broke the women’s 5,000 metres record by quite four seconds, crossing the road in 14 minutes 6.62 seconds. Gidey easily beat the previous record of 14:11.15 set by her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba in Oslo in 2008.
“This may be a longtime dream on behalf of me, I’m very happy, this is often very big on behalf of me,” said Gidey.
The event was organised by Cheptegei’s NN Running Team of the Netherlands and he and Gidey were helped to the finishing line by pacers also as Wavelight technology, which flashes lights on the within of the track to point a selected pace.
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