Cape Town – Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda smashed the world record in the 10km, clocking 26:38 at the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso.
He clipped six seconds from the previous record of 26:44 set by Kenya’s Patrick Komon in 2010 to complete a sensational 2019 hat-trick that included world titles in cross country and 10 000m on the track.
Pacesetter Roy Hoornweg covered the opening kilometre of the World Athletics Silver Label road race in 2:42 before Cheptegei moved to the front briefly demanding a quicker pace, a demand that was met – by the second kilometre the clock read 5:42 for a 2:40km split.
Once Hoornweg dropped out, Stephen Kissa and Abdallah Mande took command with Cheptegei in tow, with the trio covering 3km in 7:57, well inside the word record schedule.
Cheptegei, 23, overtook the pacemakers before the halfway point, reaching 5km in 13:23, one second shy of the world record for that distance.
Running on his own Cheptegei reached 8km in 21:37, when it became clear that the world record was within reach.
With 23:59 on the clock at the 9km point, Cheptegei needed to cover the final kilometre in 2:45 – a task well within his capabilities.
“World cross champion in Denmark, 10 000m world champion in Doha and now the world record here in Valencia. What a year it has been. I can’t believe it! I knew that Valencia was going to be a really fast course, one of the fastest in the world. So to get to achieve what we came here for is something really special.”