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Ugandan Cheptegei smashes 5,000 metres world record at Monaco Diamond League

Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei after his World Record run in Monaco on Friday night. Photo: @WorldAthletics on twitter

Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei after his World Record run in Monaco on Friday night. Photo: @WorldAthletics on twitter

Published Aug 14, 2020

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MONACO - Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei produced a brilliant display of solo running to break Kenenisa Bekele's 16-year-old 5,000 metres world record by almost two seconds at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on Friday.

Cheptegei, 23, had predicted a world record run in the first Diamond League meeting of the season and duly delivered as he clocked 12 minutes, 35.36 seconds, destroying the 12:37.35 that Bekele set in the Netherlands in 2004.

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The 2019 world champion over 10,000 metres was in hot form before lockdown, setting world records over 10km and 5km on the road - the shorter of those also coming in Monaco in February - his last race before Friday's meet.

Cheptegei took up the running at halfway, churning out 61-second laps and delivered a 2:30 split for the final kilometre and remembering to stop his own watch as he crossed the line.

"It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home but you have to stay motivated," he said.

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"I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach. I'm also usually based in Europe, but being based in Uganda with my family was actually great. I will for sure celebrate the world record when I get home."

Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli, who was just approaching the final straight as Cheptegei crossed the line, finished a distant second in a lifetime best of 12:51.78.

Reuters

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