Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei set a stunning new world record in 5000 metres at the season-opening Monaco Diamond League meet that happened on Friday August 14, 2020.
Cheptegei produced a brilliant display of solo running to break Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old 5,000 metres world record finishing the race at 12min 35.36 sec contrary to Bekele’s 12:37:35 record set in 2004.
“I’ve tried to improve on my speed,” smiled Cheptegei when asked what he had been working on since his gold medal showing in Doha in September.
The Ugandan finished ahead of Kenyan duo Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli and Jacob Krop at a Stade Louis II limited to 5,000 spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cheptegei has been in fine form since clinching 10000M gold at last year’s World Championships.
The world champion said he was going for the record and midway the race, Cheptegei was running at record threatening pace and on the final two laps, it was apparent Bekele’s 12:37.35 would be shuttered.
Right from the start of the race, Cheptegei got his cards right, steadily improving lap after lap. Pacesetter and compatriot Stephen Kissa led by the 3-mile mark before he dropped off for Cheptegei to take over.
Monaco has been a special place for runners as several World records have been set in recent years. And that is one of the reasons why Cheptegei chose the Louis II Stadium to attack Bekele’s legendary record.