Ugandan long-distance athlete Joshua Cheptegei has broken the world record in the men’s 5,000 meters.
The 23-year-old put up an impressive performance to smash the record at the Monaco Diamond League meet on August 14.
This was the first completely in-person Diamond League event of the year following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cheptegei ran 12:35.36s, averaging 4:03 per mile to break the record which has stood for 16 years.
Ethiopian long-distance runner Kenenisa Bekele held the previous world record, having ran 12:37.35s in 2004.
Reveling in his achievement, Cheptegei said it took a lot of hard work and stay motivated in the wake of the pandemic.
“I think Monaco is a special place, and it’s one of these places where I could break the world record,” the Ugandan runner told Diamond League race organizers.
“It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying home, but you have to stay motivated. I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach.
“I’m also usually based in Europe, but being based in Uganda with my family was actually really great. I will for sure celebrate the world record when I get home.”
Cheptegei has enjoyed a fruitful last 18 months, having also emerged as the 10,000-meter world champion.