Letesenbet Gidey, Joshua Cheptegei smash long-distance world records in Valencia

Gidey put up the run of her short career a year after taking 10,000m silver at the world athletics championships in Doha.

Agence France-Presse October 08, 2020 15:06:52 IST
Letesenbet Gidey, Joshua Cheptegei smash long-distance world records in Valencia

Valencia: Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey set a new women's 5,000m world record of 14 minutes 6.62 seconds in Valencia on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old lowered the previous mark of 14min 11.15 held by her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba since 2008 by over four seconds.

Gidey put up the run of her short career a year after taking 10,000m silver at the world athletics championships in Doha.

With two pacemakers helping her record bid until the 3,000m marker, Gidey maintained a ferocious pace to etch her name in athletics' record books.

The performance of the double junior world cross country champion will reignite the debate over the carbon-plated Nike Vaporfly shoes she uses that have revolutionised road running.

Joshua Cheptegei smashes 10,000m track world record

Later, Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei broke the 10,000m track world record 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. 

Letesenbet Gidey Joshua Cheptegei smash longdistance world records in Valencia

Ethiopia's Gidey (left) and Uganda's Cheptegei broke the 5000m and 10000m records respectively. Image: AFP

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 footwear, 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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