Chep­tegei aims for 10,000 me­tres track world record

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - SPORT -

Paris, France (AFP) — Joshua Chep­tegei has al­ready bro­ken two world records this year but he now has his sights on a third when he at­tempts to break Ke­nenisa Bekele’s 10,000-me­tres track record in Va­len­cia to­day.

“With the look of things now with COVID-19 you can­not win a medal, you can­not race in a cham­pi­onship this year so the best is to try to break the world record,” he said at the pre-meet press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

Back in Fe­bru­ary, Chep­tegei smashed the world 5km road record in Monaco.

Then, af­ter a pe­riod of lock­down in his na­tive Uganda, he re­turned to Monaco and, in his first race back, wiped al­most two sec­onds off Bekele’s 16-yearold world record time over the 5,000m as he clocked an as­ton­ish­ing 12 minutes, 35.35 sec­onds.

“Peo­ple never be­lieved I could come close to the 5,000 me­tres world record. Now I have it,” said Chep­tegei, who turned 24 last month.

“Covid pre­sented an op­por­tu­nity — I needed to run faster so the next goal is to try and break the 10,000 me­tres world record.

“There is noth­ing bet­ter than to try these crazy things this year.”

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.

Now his sights are set on break­ing a 10,000-me­tres record of 26 minutes, 17.53 sec­onds set by Bekele in Brussels on Au­gust 26, 2005.

As things stand, Chep­tegei only has the 18th-quick­est time over the dis­tance, with a best in Doha of 26 minutes, 48.36 sec­onds, over half a minute out­side the record.

But his per­for­mance in Au­gust bodes well and he also has some rapid pace­mak­ers, no­tably the Kenyan Ni­cholas Kimeli, who was a world fi­nal­ist over 5,000 me­tres.

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