Uganda’s star runner Joshua Cheptegei has broken the 10km road world record (WR) in Valencia, Spain.
23-year-old Cheptegei who also won the 10,000m race at the World Championship in Doha in October this year set a new time of 26 minutes 38 seconds on Sunday. The previous record was set by Kenya’s Leonard Komon in 2010. Earlier in March 2019, he won the 10km cross country world title in Denmark in March.
"What a year it has been," he said. "I can't believe it. "I knew that Valencia was going to be a really fast course, one of the fastest in the world. So to get to achieve what we came here for is something really special," said Cheptegei.
Pacesetter, Roy Hoornweg covered the opening kilometre in 2:42 before Cheptegei moved to the front briefly demanding a quicker pace, a demand that was met. By the second kilometre, the clock read 5:42 for a 2:40-kilometre split.
Once Hoorweg dropped out, Uganda’s duo of Stephen Kissa and Abdallah Mande took command with Cheptegei in tow, with the trio covering three kilometres in 7:57, well inside the world record schedule.
Following a 2:41 split for the fourth kilometre, Cheptegei overtook the pacemakers before the halfway point, reaching 5km in 13:23, one second shy of the world record for that distance. Running on his own over the entire second half, a determined Cheptegei reached 6km in 16:02 and 7km in 18:42.
Cheptegei forged on, reaching 8km in 21:37, when it became clear that the world record was within reach. With 23:59 on the clock at the 9km point, Cheptegei needed to cover the final kilometre in 2:45, a close well within his capabilities.
“We are happy that Cheptegei has completed the season in style and continued to raise the Ugandan flag high,” Dominic Otuchet, president of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) told URN.