Joshua Cheptegei breaks the world 5km record in Monaco (© Etienne Fiacre)
Joshua Cheptegei shattered the world record in the 5km, clocking 12:51* at the Monaco Run 5km in the Mediterranean Principality today (16).
Running alone from the start, the 23-year-old Ugandan smashed through the event's 13-minute barrier, clipping a massive 27 seconds from the previous record of 13:18 set by Kenya's Rhonex Kipruto en route to his 10km world record in Valencia on 12 January.
Quick from the outset, Cheptegei blitzed through the first kilometre in 2:31, the fastest split of the race. He followed up with 2:35, 2:36 and 2:35 kilometre splits before sealing his record with a closing 2:32 kilometre.
“Wow, this is a really great," said Cheptegei, the 2019 world 10,000m champion, who was making his 2020 racing debut.
"I had sub 13 minutes in my mind today so when my legs felt good during the race I decided to really go for it. To take this many seconds off the record makes me very happy and is a great first test for me in an important season.”
Jimmy Gressier of France was second in 13:18, to break the European record of 13:29 set by Julien Wanders in this race last year.
Nick Goolab of Great Britain was third in 13:27, two seconds clear of Frenchman Mohamed Amine El Bouajaji.
Cheptegei's command performance not only eclipsed Kipruto's pending world record and the most recently ratified record of 13:22, set by Robert Keter in Lille on 9 November, but also bettered the fastest time ever recorded for the distance, Sammy Kipketer's 13:00 clocking in Carlsbad, USA, in 2000, well before the 5km became an official world record event in November 2017.
Liv Westphal won the women's race in 15:31, a French national record.
*pending the usual ratification procedures