NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei lowered the 5km world record on Sunday with a time of 12 minutes 51 seconds.
The 10,000m world champion made the most of perfect conditions in the second edition of this race to improve on Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto’s previous best of 13min 18sec last month in Valencia.
Cheptegei took 10,000m gold at the world championships in Doha last October, with Kipruto in bronze.
“Wow, this is a really great,” said Cheptegei, the 2019 world 10,000m champion, who was making his 2020 racing debut.
“I had sub 13 minutes in my mind today so when my legs felt good during the race I decided to really go for it. To take this many seconds off the record makes me very happy and is a great first test for me in an important season.”
Jimmy Gressier of France was second in 13:18, to break the European record of 13:29 set by Julien Wanders in this race last year.
Cheptegei’s command performance not only eclipsed Kipruto’s pending world record and the most recently ratified record of 13:22, set by Robert Keter in Lille on 9 November, but also bettered the fastest time ever recorded for the distance, Sammy Kipketer’s 13:00 clocking in Carlsbad, USA, in 2000, well before the 5km became an official world record event in November 2017.