Joshua Cheptegei - a runner from Uganda broke 16-year-old 5,000 metres world record by almost two seconds at the Monaco Diamond League on Friday August 14th. The 23 years old runner took 12 minutes, 35.36 seconds to complete 5,000 meters.
Previously the record was held by Kenenisa Bekele in 2004. The Ethiopian athlete completed the run in 12 minutes, 37.35 seconds. The new record is an improvement of 2 seconds from the previous one. Cheptegei is also the 2019 world champion in 10,000 metres road run. On December 1, 2019, he set the world record of 26 minutes 38 seconds in Valencia, Spain.
In his latest record, he took up the running at halfway, churning out 61-second laps and delivered a 2:30 split for the final kilometre, remembering to stop his own watch as he crossed the line. He said,
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. 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.
The Monaco Diamond League is one of the biggest international athletics meet. This one is the first completely in-person Diamond League event. Up to 5,000 socially distanced fans were allowed into the 16,000 capacity Stade Louis II stadium for the event. Cheptegei was the showstopper of the event.