Joshua Cheptegei is in the form of his life. He registered the best year by a Ugandan runner ever after grabbing his fourth title of 2019 at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso race in Spain at the weekend.
Cheptegei smashed the 10km world record (WR) which had stood for nine years by winning the race in Valencia in a time of 26 minutes and 38 seconds on Sunday.
“What a year this has been. I am thrilled,” said Cheptegei after the race.
“I can’t believe it! 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,” he added.
The previous WR mark had been set by Kenyan Patrick Komon at a time of 26:44 in Utrecht, Netherlands on September 26, 2010.
The 23-year-old has had an incredible year that began by securing the World Cross-country title in Aarhus, Denmark on March 30.
He went ahead and claimed the 5000m trophy on the Diamond League on August 29 in Zurich, Switzerland before adding the 10000m gold at the Doha World Athletics Championships in Qatar on October 6.
Cheptegei’s training partners Stephen Kissa and Abdallah Mande set early pace for him and when he eventually before the halfway point, he didn’t look back.
He was at 5km mark in 13:23 minutes, at 6km in 16:02 and had 18:42 for the next 1000m. WR was within his grip when he posted 21:37 with 2000m left.
Another Ugandan Kevin Kibet, Mande’s young brother, came second in 28:19 and Reza Abootorabi of Sweden came third after 28:35.
Cheptegei’s next assignments are the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia on March 29, 2020 but he has never run the 21km distance.
After, his aim will be dethroning Briton Mo Farah for the 10000m crown at the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.
VALENCIA ALFONSO 10K
1 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 26:38 WR
2 Kevin Kibet (UGA) 28:19
3 Reza Abootorabi (SWE) 28:35
CHEPTEGEI AT A GLANCE
Date of birth
: September 12, 1996
: 5000m, 10000m
: 5000m (12:57.41), 10000m (26:48.36)
: Addy Ruiter
: Jurrie van der Velden
CHEPTEGEI’S 2019 HONOURS:
World Cross-country Gold, 5000m Diamond League Trophy and World 10000m Gold
10KM ALL-TIME TOP 10
26:38 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA), Valencia, Dec 1, 2019
26:44 Leonard Patrick Komon (KEN), Utrecht, Netherlands, Sep 26, 2010
26:46 Rhonex Kipruto (KEN), Prague, Sep 8, 2018
27:01 Micah Kogo (KEN), Brunssum, Netherlands, Mar 29, 2009
27:02 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH), Doha, Dec 13, 2002
27:02 Geoffrey Koech (KEN), Prague, Sep 7, 2019
27:04 Josphat Kiprono Menjo (KEN), Barcelona, Apr 18, 2010
27:07 Mathew Kimeli (KEN), Prague, Sep 7, 2019
27:09 Peter Kamais (KEN), Tilburg, Netherlands, Sep 6, 2009
27:10 Benard Kimeli (KEN), Prague, Sep 9, 2017
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This writer is a global broadcaster and as well scribe with Daily Monitor Newspaper and sports presenter with Radio One FM 90 in Kampala. Follow him on Twitter: @AllanDarren and his Facebook Page: Darren Allan Kyeyune