In a span of just two months, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei has smashed two long-standing world records – the 5,000m one on August 14 in Monaco and now the 10,000m on this night in Valencia.
Cheptegei clocked 26:11:02 at the NN World Record Day event in Valencia, Spain to beat Kenenisa Bekele’s 15-year-old 10,000m record of 26:17.53.
“It was my dream. We are trying to write history on the track and make people to know that track is still exciting,” the 10,000m world champion, said after.
Asked if this moment means he has ‘achieve greatness’ in athletics, he replied:
“I think this is just the foundation of what I want to achieve in years to come.”
Today’s record set means Cheptegei has continued to erase both races’ records previously set by Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele after each remaining intact for more than a decade.
Back in February, the 24-year-old Ugandan athletics star also broke the world 5km road record in Monaco.
Coming into Wednesday’s race, Cheptegei’s best time was 26:48.36 – and he had to push himself more than ever to beat Bekele’s time, which was the longest standing men’s 10,000m world record in history.
In the buildup to the race, Cheptegei had said he was delighted to be offered the opportunity to go after the 10,000m record.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey was targetting compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba’s world record of 14:11.15 minutes set in Oslo, Norway in 2008. And she did it – with a new world record time of 14:06.65 minutes.