By Exposed Uganda
Ugandan athlete Joshua Cheptegei is currently the World 10,000m champion after he won the NN Valencia World Record Day race on Wednesday, smashing Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele’s record that had remained intact for 15 years.
Cheptegei competed with several other athletes in the Spanish city of Valencia at a specially-organised NN Valencia World Record Day event, where he beat all the competitors, many of them international champions.
Shortly after the race, he said during an interview that; “I think this [latest feat] lays a foundation of what can still happen and what I want to achieve in the years to come.”
“It means something great to me. You know you are trying to write history (…) We want to make people know that the track is still exciting. We want to give it our all so that the sports lovers in the world can have the benefit of their time by seeing us now,” he added.
Ethiopian athlete champion Bekele broke his own 10,000m record to establish a new one of 26:17.53 minutes in the Belgian capital Brussels, on August 26, 2005.
However, 15 years later Cheptegei has 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.
With this victory, Cheptegei has broken three world records this year, within the space of two months.
Cheptegei has broken two long-standing world records – the 5,000m one on August 14 in Monaco and now the 10,000m one.
It means he has erased both races’ records previously set by Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele after each remaining intact for more than a decade.
Meanwhile, also on the night in Valencia, Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey was targeting compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba’s women’s 5,000m 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.