Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei’s 5km world record was ratified by World Athletics on Monday.
Cheptegei shattered the world 5km record with a sensational 12:51 solo run at the Monaco Run 5km on February 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.
“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,” Cheptegei said.
“Everything starts in the mind. If you believe you can do this, then it’s possible.”
For a man who is re-defining the limits of human performance, it’s no surprise the Ugandan’s psychological strength is on par with his physiology.
Such statements may cause eyes to roll in an age where self-help advice is ubiquitous, but few back up their beliefs quite like Cheptegei.
Consider this: in the past 12 months the 23-year-old has won gold at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark; the 5000m at the Diamond League final in Zurich; the 10,000m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha; and he closed 2019 by setting a world 10km record of 26:38 on the road in Valencia.
Once athletics on the global stage finally resumes in earnest, one thing is certain – Cheptegei will be one of the starring acts for years to come.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo