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For the second time in less than two months, 24-year-old Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei has taken a world record from Kenenisa Bekele. After breaking Bekele’s 5,000m record on August 14 in Monaco in 12:35.37, Cheptegei on Wednesday ran 26:11.00 in Valencia, Spain, to dismantle the 26:17.53 Bekele ran in 2005.
Here are Cheptegei's splits, per PJ Vazel:
#NNValenciaWRDay @joshuacheptege1 🇺🇬 10000m— PJ Vazel (@pjvazel) October 7, 2020
26:11.00 🆕@WorldAthletics Record
As the headliner at the NN Valencia World Record Day, the pressure was on Cheptegei to lower the record after Letesenbet Gidey broke the women’s 5,000m world record just minutes before. Following pace setter Nicholas Kimeli through halfway in 13:07, Cheptegei was under record pace but behind the 13:05 tempo that was prescribed for the first half.
But the 10,000m world champion only sped up from there, closing his second 5,000m in 13:03 and change to easily eclipse Bekele again. That he did so without a pacer for the majority of the last 5,000m makes the performance all the more impressive.