The world has new champions in the men’s 10,000m and women’s 5,000m.
On Wednesday night, the Spanish city of Valencia experienced two new world records on the track.
Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei reeled off 25 laps in an average of less than 63 seconds apiece to stop the clock in 26:11.00.
The 24-year-old beat Kenenisa Bekele’s 15-year-old time by more than six seconds to become the new world record for 10,000m.
Cheptegei’s success marks his fourth world record in 10 months, having broken the 10km road best in December 2019 and the 5km road record in February 2020.
At the Monaco Diamond League in August, he broke another of Bekele’s world records, beating his 16-year-old mark in the 5,000m by two seconds.
Two Bekele world records gone in less than 2 months! Joshua Cheptegei runs 26:11.02 to smash the 10,000m world record by over six seconds pic.twitter.com/Fpn28s7aku
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) October 7, 2020
“I wanted to live up to expectations so I’m happy to achieve my dream,” said Cheptegei.
He is now the 10th man in history to hold the 5000m and 10,000m world records concurrently.
“I was trying to remake history so that people will have something to enjoy. Sports lovers of the world can have something to remember.
“In this difficult situation, I hope things like this can still give us joy and some hope for tomorrow,” he said in an interview with World Athletics.
Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda has broken Kenenisa Bekele's 15-year-old 10,000M World Record, lowering it by 6 seconds. He now holds the 5K and 10K World Records. Congratulations to our good neighbours Uganda. pic.twitter.com/o2tXYKzeRA
— Kenyan Facts 🇰🇪 (@KResearcher) October 7, 2020
The World Record Day also saw Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey break the women’s 5,000m record.