24-year-old Ugandan Athlete Breaks 10,000m Track World Record

Joshua Cheptegei Ugandan athlete Joshua Cheptegei celebrates after breaking the 10,000m track world record during the NN Valencia World Record Day at the Turia stadium in Valencia on October 7, 2020.

Ugandan athlete, Joshua Cheptegei broke the 10,000m track world record on Wednesday in Valencia with a time of 26mins 11.00 seconds.

He lowered the previous mark of 26min 17.53sec set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2005 in Brussels.

This was the 24-year-old 10,000m world champion’s third world record this year and cemented his standing as the new middle distance maestro.

In February he claimed the world 5km road record in Monaco.

Then, after a period of coronavirus lockdown in his native Uganda, he returned to Monaco and, in his first race back, wiped almost two seconds off Bekele’s 16-year-old track world record time over the 5,000m as he clocked 12min 35.35sec.

Cheptegei served notice of his class when he took silver at the 2017 world championships in London when he was still just 20.

Last year he went one better, collecting gold in Doha. He had already won the world cross country championship five months earlier.

Up to Wednesday Cheptegei only had the 18th quickest time over the distance with a best in Doha of 26min 48.36secs, over half a minute outside the record.

But his performance in August boded well and he was assisted by some rapid pacemakers, notably the Kenyan Nicholas Kimeli who was a world finalist over 5,000 metres.

Another factor was his footware, Nike’s carbon-plated Nike Vaporfly worn by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey when she established a new women’s 5,000m earlier.

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