Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey of Ethiopia have smashed world records over 10,000m and 5,000m respectively at the Valencia meeting which had been billed as ‘World Record Day by organizers.
On Wednesday evening, Gidey was the first to go into the annals of athletics history with a stunning 5,000m run of 14:06.62 to take more than four seconds off the mark of 14:11.15 by her compatriot and idol Tirunesh Dibaba which had stood since 2008.
“I have been dreaming about this (setting a world record) for six years,” Gidey was quoted as saying by the World Athletics website.
Gidey became the third successive Ethiopian to hold the 5,000m world record following Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba as a prelude to Cheptegei’s feat.
Cheptegei, meanwhile, covered 10,000m in 26:11.00 to break Kenenisa Bekele’s mark of 26:17.53, set in Brussels in 2005.
“I wanted to live up to expectations so I’m happy to achieve my dream,” said Cheptegei, who now becomes the 10th man in history to hold the 5,000m and 10,000m world records concurrently. “I was trying to remake history so that people will have something to enjoy. Sports lovers of the world can have something to remember,” he added.