Ugandan runner Joshua Cheptegei feels the 3000m world record currently held by Daniel Komen is “not untouchable”.
The 24-year-old revealed his sentiments about the record in a press conference yesterday ahead of his attempt to break it tonight at at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava.
Komen clocked 7:20.67 (outdoors) in Rieti, Italy in September 1996 and Cheptegei has been watching the video of the record making over and over again.
“Ever since I started running, I’ve been watching it three or four times (a year), and this year I’ve been watching it five times,” said Cheptegei at the press conference on Tuesday.
“I still really can’t believe it. What he did was really special and most of the big icons in the sport, the likes of Kenenisa (Bekele), (Hicham) El Guerrouj, Haile (Gebrselassie) tried it, but it was untouchable and that shows you how special the record is.”
Cheptegei however insisted “it’s not untouchable.” He added; “I’m hopeful the weather is okay, it should be (possible to break) the Ugandan record, which is 7:26, and of course the final one is the world record – 7:20 is not easy.
“It’s one of the hardest records and that’s why it’s not been broken for the past 25 years, but I’ll run fast as long as my legs will carry me.”
Should Cheptegei break the record, he shall have joined Finland’s Paavo Nurmi and Kenya’s Henry Rono as the only men to hold the 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 world records simultaneously.