Running star Joshua Cheptegei has the shape of his life. In Valencia, the 24-year-old set a new world record at 10,000 meters – continuing an almost eerie record hunt.

World champion Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda broke the 15-year world record over 10,000 meters in Valencia, impressively underscoring his exceptional long-distance position. The 24-year-old crossed the finish line after 26: 11.02 minutes, remaining well below the old record of three-time Olympic track winner Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia / 26: 17.53) in 2005.

Cheptegeis world record hunting

“It is a great moment for me to break the world record,” said Cheptegei. “I wanted to show the sports fans all over the world that the track is exciting. I wanted to raise expectations for the world record day in Valencia and I am happy that my dream has come true.”

For Cheptegei it is already the third world record this year. First he had set the best mark in the 5 km road race in February (12:51), on August 14 he set the world record over 5000 meters on the tartan track in 12: 35.36 minutes. Before that too, Bekele was the fastest man in the world on this route.

On August 14, 2020, Cheptegei set a new world record above 5000 m with 12: 35.36 minutes. (Source: Gladys Chai von der Laage / Image Images)

In view of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the latest record of the exceptional runner, training partner of the world record holder Marathon Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya), is impressive. In his last five races, Cheptegei won world championship gold over 10,000 m with a championship record in Doha (6 October 2019), the world records over 10 km (1 December 2019) and 5 km (16 February 2020), as well as the track. World records over 5000 m (August 14) and 10,000 m (October 7).

Ethiopian breaks the world record in the 5000 meters

A few minutes before Cheptegei, Letesenbet Gidey from Ethiopia broke the world record at 5000 meters in women. The 22-year-old ran a time of 14: 06.65 minutes and was more than four seconds faster than her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba (14: 11.15 minutes) in 2008. Gidey, five-time gold medalist in the cross-country championships, won last year more than 10,000 m silver at the World Championships in Athletics in Doha.

“I’m happy,” said Gidey. “I dreamed of this record for six years. I want to thank Valencia for this opportunity.”

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