Within the space of two months, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei has broken two long-standing world records – the 5,000m one on August 14 in Monaco and now the 10,000m one this night in Valencia.
It means he has erased both races’ records previously set by Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele after each remaining intact for more than a decade.
Yet, Cheptegei’s records story does not stop at these two.
Back in February, the 24-year-old Ugandan athletics star also broke the world 5km road record in Monaco.
So his latest fete, produced on a humid late night in the Spanish city of Valencia at a specially-organised NN Valencia World Record Day event, means Cheptegei has broken three world records this year.
Back in 2005 (August 26), Ethiopian Bekele broke his own 10,000m record to establish a new one of 26:17.53 minutes in the Belgian capital Brussels.
Fast-forward to present day, 15 years later, and 15 years later, and Cheptegei has once again entered his name in the athletics history books by establishing a new 10,000m world record of 26:11.00 minutes, and smashing his personal best in the process inside the Turia Stadium.
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.
Ugandan Winnie Nanyondo, better known for the 800m event, took part in this women’s race.