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Kenya’s Ngetich breaks 10km World Record as Kenyans dominate in Brasov

Agnes Ngetich celebrates after breaking the 10km world record
Agnes Ngetich celebrates after breaking the 10km world record. PHOTO/World Athletics
  • Ngetich broke the late Agnes Tirop’s record
  • There were four Kenyans in the top five positions
  • Kenya won both the male and female 10km races

Kenya’s Agnes Ngetich broke the women-only 10km world record over the weekend, as Kenyan athletes dominated at the Brasov Running Festival in Romania.

The Kenyan became the first ever woman to dip under 20 minutes in an all-women’s race, as she stopped the clock in 29:24, lowering the 30:01 mark set by the late Agnes Tirop in 2021.

“The world record is a surprise to me,” said Ngetich, who started the 2022 race in Brasov as the pacemaker but went on to finish second in 30:30. “I didn’t expect to get the world record. I just wanted a PB, low 30 minutes to break the course record, but a world record is really a surprise,” she said after the race.

“I started the year with the World Cross, which was perfect, so I wanted to close the season with a good result,” explained Ngetich, who achieved that aim in sensational style.

In an impressive solo running display, the 22-year-old showed her intent from the start and covered the first 5km in 14:25 – four seconds faster than the women-only world record for that distance.

She had a lead of 10 seconds over her compatriot Catherine Reline at that point.

Racing on the loop course, Ngetich went on to pass 6.5km in 18:54 and 8.5km in 24:56 before crossing the finish line in 29:24.

Third quickest woman in history

As well as being the fastest women-only 10km, Ngetich’s time is the third-quickest by a woman in history, behind only the 29:14 run by Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw in a mixed race in Castellon last year and the 29:19 Yehualaw clocked in Valencia earlier this year.

Reline held on to finish second in 30:14, while Joy Cheptoyek placed third in 30:34.

Meanwhile, the men’s race was won by Weldon Langat, who completed a Kenyan double in 27:05. A group of seven athletes went through 5km in 13:30, with another four just two seconds further back at the halfway point.

Surges in the sixth kilometre by Kenya’s Amos Kurgat and Dennis Kibet saw the pair pull away, with Langat being towed along comfortably in their wake.

Kibet continues to push the pace 

Kibet continued to regularly push the pace over the course of the next three kilometres but with just over one kilometre to go, he started to pay for his service at the front.

As Kurgat and Langat embarked on the final kilometre, the latter used that as a signal to change gears and made a decisive move that took him to victory just over two-and-a-half minutes later.

Kurgat took second place in 27:12, while the 2018 world U20 5000m champion Edward Zakayo came through strongly over the final kilometre, firstly overtaking the tiring Kibet and then almost catching Kurgat to complete an all-Kenyan podium in third place with 27:14.

“It was a really tough race but I am delighted with the win. We worked well with the other Kenyans and I am delighted we performed well,” he said after the race.

-Additional information from World Athletics 

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