Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet smashed the women’s world 5km record in Barcelona on Sunday.
The 23-year-old’s time of 14min 13sec improved on the previous women-only world record of 14:29 set by Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi in September 2021.
Her performance also bettered the women’s world record set in a mixed race of 14:19, achieved by Ethiopia’s Ejegayehu Taye at the same Barcelona meet in 2021.
“I came to Barcelona determined to better the world record as I felt capable of that,” said Chebet. “This world record means a lot for me, I can’t believe it.”
Taye finished second behind Chebet on Sunday, clocking 14:21, while Kenya’s Lilian Kasait Rengeruk was third in 14:26 as the top three dipped under the previous women-only world record mark.
Uganda’s Joy Cheptoyek was also inside that mark, finishing fourth in 14:28.
Over the penultimate kilometre, Taye moved to the front to share the lead with Chebet — who won world cross country gold in Bathurst and world 5000m bronze in Budapest prior to her world 5km title in Riga -– as they both took turns in their attempt to hit record pace.
The trio clocked 11:36 as they hit the 4km mark after another relatively slow 2:58 split but Rengeruk could not maintain that speed and the race became a battle between Chebet and Taye.
But it was Chebet who found another gear in the closing 500m to make history, extending her advantage on the world 10,000m bronze medallist.
The men’s race was won by Swiss Dominic Lobalu in 13:12, six seconds clear of runner-up Mathew Kipkoech Kipruto of Kenya.
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