The entire world was keen and eager prior to the 5000m race during the Herculis Monaco Diamond League in France on Friday, 14th August 2020.
As expected, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei broke the men’s 5000m World record with a stunning performance, clocking 12:35.36 in the competitive and fast race.
He had an energetic and impressive run, shattering Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele’s record set in 2004.
Long distance races have their own dynamics and politics. Therefore, all the runners have planned strategies prior to and during the races.
In this very run, Cheptegei had assured company in fellow countryman Stephen Kissa, a seasoned long distance runner and renowned pace-setter.
Kenya was also represented by the duo of Nicholas Kimeli Kipkorir and Jacob Krop.
Right from the sound of the starting gun, each of the athletes had a bold strategy and a mission at hand.
For the first kilometer, Cheptegei closely followed pace-setters Roy Hoorwe (Netherlands) and Matthew Ramsden (Australia).
They covered 2:31.87 for the opening kilometer, followed by almost an identical 2:31:90 for the next kilometer.
Kissa ruled for a lap before dropping off and Cheptegei took command.
The slim Uganda who hails from Kapchorwa in North East of the country did not look back after the 2500m.
He thus clocked 2.31 (7:35.14 for 3000m) and maintained the pace exactly the same posting 2:31 at 4000m.
Coming to the final 1000m, the writing was well written on the wall that 16 year existing world record (12:37:35) would be smashed.
Shockingly, the pace slowed a bit as he looked relaxed at the 800M mark but the phenomenal final kick was astonishing and powerful.
Eventually, the 2:30.32 final kilometer run was completed and the record set by Kenenisa Bekela was down.
Cheptegei thanked his working crew, family, President Museveni, Janet Museveni (Minister of Education and Sports) as well as the state minister Hamson Denis Obua.
To prove that this race was really fast, all the top 10 runners set individual records.
As Cheptegei set a new world record (12:35.36), it was a personal best record for the second placed Nicholas Kimeli Kipkorir (12:51.78) as well as his Kenya comrade, Jacob Krop (13:11.32) with a seasonal best.
Dutch man Mike Foppen (13:13.06) set a new national and personal best timings.
Spaniard Ouassim Oumaiz (13:13.14) came fifth with a personal best timing.
Australia’s Stewart McSweyn (13:13.22) came with the seasonal best thus far.
Jimmy Gressier (France)- 13:15.77 and Mauritius’ Per Svela (13:23.97) also had personal best timings.
The duo of Hassan Suldan (Sweden) and Julien Wanders (Switzerland) completed the top ten positions with seasonal best timings of 13:31.62 and 13:49.85 respectively.
Cheptegei collected a whooping 50,000 USD for breaking world record and 20,000 USD for winning.
Top 10 positions:
1. Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) – 12:35.36 *World Record
2. Nicholas Kimeli Kipkorir (Kenya) – 12:51.78 *Personal Best
3. Jacob Krop (Kenya) – 13:11.32 *Seasonal Best
4. Mike Foppen (Netherlands) -13:13.06 *National Record, Personal Best
5. Ouassim Oumaiz (Spain) – 13:13.14 *Personal Best
6. Stewart McSweyn (Australia) – 13:13.22 * Seasonal Best
7. Jimmy Gressier (France)- 13:15.77 *Personal Best
8. Per Svela (Mauritius) – 13:23.97 *Personal Best
9. Hassan Suldan (Sweden) – 13:31.62 *Seasonal Best
10. Julien Wanders (Switzerland) – 13:49.85 *Seasonal Best
Did not finish:
• Yemaneberhan Crippa (Italy)
• Roy Hoornweg (Netherlands)
• Henrik Ingebrigtsen (Norway)
• Matthew Ramsden (Australia)