Valencia (Spain) – Joshua Cheptegei set a new 10km road world record in Valencia on Sunday, closing out his season in style by eclipsing the previous benchmark set by Kenyan Patrick Leonard Komon.
The current 10,000m world champion, who won the IAAF World Cross Championships earlier this year in Denmark, clocked 26 minutes 38 seconds, improving Komon’s 2010 mark by six seconds, at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso.
“What a year it has been. I can’t believe it,” the 23-year-old said after completing the memorable 2019 hat-trick.
“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.
“This year has made me so happy.”
Cheptegei’s average pace was two minutes and 40 seconds per kilometre in Valencia, passing through 5km in 13 minutes 24 seconds.
Pacesetter Roy Hoornweg covered the opening kilometre 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 2:40-kilometre split.
Once Hoorweg dropped out, Uganda’s duo of Stephen Kissa and Abdallah Mande took command with Cheptegei in tow, with the trio covering three kilometres in 7:57, well inside the word record schedule.
Following a 2:41 split for the fourth kilometre, Cheptegei 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 over the entire second half, a determined Cheptegei reached 6km in 16:02 and 7km in 18:42.
Cheptegei forged on, reaching 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 close well within his capabilities.
“We are happy that Cheptegei has completed the season in style and continued to rise the Ugandan flag high,” Dominic Otuchet, President of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) said.
In 2018, he ran 41 minutes five seconds in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, to break the 15km road world record.