Cheptegei broke the 15-year-old record, previously held by Kenenisa Bekele, by more than six seconds. Joshua Cheptegei has only raced four times in 2020, but he has made each opportunity count by breaking three world records. His latest performance broke a 15-year-old world record in the men’s 10,000 meters. In a race organized by his training group, NN Running Team, the Ugandan distance runner ran 26:11.00 at the NN Valencia World Record Day in Valencia, Spain on Wednesday night. Cheptegei’s performance broke the previous world record of 26:17.53 set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2005. Running alone for the second half of the race, Cheptegei stayed within range of the record while a small crowd of spectators in face masks cheered on the sidelines. With 12 laps to go, Cheptegei accelerated into consistent 62-second splits for each lap, indicating the world record was within range. Prior to breaking the 10,000-meter world record, Cheptegei broke the world record in the 5,000 meters at the Monaco Diamond League meet on August 14. Before the race cancellations caused by the coronavirus outbreak, Cheptegei broke the world record in the road 5K at the Monaco Run 5K on February 16. On December 1, 2019, he shattered the road 10K world record by winning the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso in 26:38. In a year filled with upheaval and uncertainty as a result of the global pandemic, Cheptegei said he hoped the performance could provide a bright spot.

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