Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei has floored Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old 5,000 metres world record.
WORLD RECORD ALERT
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) August 14, 2020
Yeasterday’s solo race saw Bekele’s decade and half long record broken by almost two seconds as athletics returned with a bang at the Monaco Diamond League meeting.
Cheptegei, 23, had predicted a world record run in the big event of the season and duly delivered as he clocked 12 minutes, 35.36 seconds, destroying the 12:37.35 that Bekele set in the Netherlands in 2004.
“It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at 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 great. I will for sure celebrate the world record when I get home.” Cheptegei told international media.
In the women’s 5,000, world champion Hellen Obiri surged clear of Letesenbet Gidey to win in 14:18.37 after Sifan Hassan dropped out with three laps to go.
Timothy Cheruiyot was another world champion who showed no signs of suffering from disrupted training as he overcame a potentially reckless fast first lap to win the men’s 1,500m in 3:28.45.
Just behind him was Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, whose 3:28.68 was a European record, while third-placed Jake Wightman became the second-fastest Briton of all time. His 3:29.47 took two seconds off his personal best.
While he remains behind Mo Farah, he surged past the timings recorded by celebrated trio Steve Cram, Seb Coe and Steve Ovett.
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon ran the second-fastest ever 1,000m, clocking 2:29.15.
Ajla del Ponte of Switzerland looked as surprised as everyone else in the stadium when she took the women’s 100m in 11.16 seconds, with favourite Marie-Josee Ta Lou a sluggish fourth in 11.39.