Letsenbet Gidey and Joshua Cheptegai, enjoying their world records, photo by Dan Vernon Photography
This is piece on NN Valencia World Record Day, by Justin Lagat.
It has been a very special year for Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, so far. Early in the year before the world was closed by the coronavirus, he set a new world record for the 5K on the roads in Monaco. Then, in his first track race of the year in August, he set a new world record for the 5000m. Before we had enough time to absorb what he had done, he was back in Valencia again in less than 2 months to attempt another of the seemingly impossible to break world records; the men’s 10,000m world record.
The second half of the race ended up being slightly faster as Cheptegei crossed the finish line in a new world record of 26:11.00.
However, the first world record of the evening was from Gidey who also smashed another one of the long-standing world records; the women’s 5000m set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008. Gidey’s performance may have boosted Cheptegei’s confidence as he was then aware that the conditions were good for setting a world record.
The women’s 3000m steeplechase world record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech took Gidey up to the 3000m point in 8:31.85. From there, Gidey stayed slightly ahead of the wave lights and maintained a steady run. Unlike Cheptegei’s almost even pace, Gidey’s splits kept getting slightly faster towards the end until she crossed the finish line in the new world record of 14:06.62.
The NN World Record Day ended up as a huge success given that the world records that were planned to be broken, were broken. I wonder if we shall get to see another world record day where all records planned are broken.
Letesenbet Gidey and Joshue Cheptegai, photo by Dan Vernon Photography
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