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Articles tagged #Joshua Cheptegei
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Jakob Ingebrigtsen sets new European 5000m record

A 12:48.45 by 20-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway takes down a loaded men’s 5,000m field in Florence Italia and he records a new European record in the process!

2. Hagos Gebriwhet 12:49.02

3. Moh Ahmed 12:50.12

4. Mohammed Katir 12:50.79

5. Justyn Knight 12:51.93 PB

6. Joshua Cheptegei 12:54.69 - first 5K loss since July 2019

Imagine running a 12:51 5000 and it’s only good for 5th!

So yeah, how good is he?

Jakob Ingebrigtsen becomes the first man to simultaneously hold European records in both the 1500 and the 5000.

1500m 3:28.68

5000m 12:48.45

since 1966 by France's Michel Jazy

(06/11/2021) Views: 49 ⚡AMP
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Jakob Ingebrigtsen sets new European 5000m record

A 12:48.45 by 20-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway takes down a loaded men’s 5,000m field in Florence Italia and he records a new European record in the process!

2. Hagos Gebriwhet 12:49.02

3. Moh Ahmed 12:50.12

4. Mohammed Katir 12:50.79

5. Justyn Knight 12:51.93 PB

6. Joshua Cheptegei 12:54.69 - first 5K loss since July 2019

Imagine running a 12:51 5000 and it’s only good for 5th!

So yeah, how good is he?

Jakob Ingebrigtsen becomes the first man to simultaneously hold European records in both the 1500 and the 5000.

1500m 3:28.68

5000m 12:48.45

since 1966 by France's Michel Jazy

(06/11/2021) Views: 40 ⚡AMP
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Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto eyes perfect debut in Diamond League

Olympic 3,000m Steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto will compete for the first time this year in Thursday's Florence Diamond League in Italy.

The third leg of this season's Diamond League will see less Kenyan athletes in action with many preparing for the Olympic Games national trials slated for June 17-19 at Kasarani.

Kipruto will battle world bronze medalist Soufiane El Bakkali from Morocco, Ethiopia’s Takele Tadese, his compatriot Wilberforce Kones, Uganda’s Albert Chemutai among others in the 3,000m Steeplechase race.

The Kenyan started training late after a long break that was caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which saw the suspension of sporting events.

Speaking to Nation Sport via phone, Kipruto revealed that he will run to see if he is fit ahead of next month's Tokyo Olympic Games, which he has already qualified for.

“I started training recently and my preparations are not perfect, but I will be running today (Thursday) just to see where I need to improve ahead of the Olympics Games. I’m using the 3,000m race to improve on my speed,” said Kipruto, who has been training in Mosoriot, Nandi County. 

After the Florence meet, Kipruot will head back home to prepare for the Olympic national trials where he hopes to defend his title over the distance.

Another Kenyan in action Thursday night is Olympic 1,500m race Faith Chepng'etich, who line up in her specialty as she seeks to improve her performance ahead of the trials next week.

She will renew hostilties with her rival Dutch’s Sifan Hassan, Great Britain’s Lura Muir, Ethiopia’s Hailu Lemlem, Winnie Nanyondo from Uganda, among others.

Faith is in form this season, having clocked a best of 1:58.26 in the 800m at the Doha Diamond League meet last month.

Robert Kiprop will be the sole Kenyan in the 5,000m race, which has favorite Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, Ethiopia’s Edris Muktar, siblings Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Henrik Ingebrigtsen from Norway among others.

(06/09/2021) Views: 71 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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Ethiopian runner sets men’s 50K world record with 2:42:07 run in South Africa

Ketema Negasa broke the men's world record and South Africa's Irvette Van Zyl ran the second-fastest women's 50K in history

Ethiopia’s Ketema Negasa broke the men’s 50K world record on Sunday, running 2:42:07 at the Nedbank Runified race in South Africa. Negasa led the way as he and three other runners beat American CJ Albertson‘s previous record of 2:42:30. In the women’s race, Des Linden‘s recent 2:59:54 world record remained unbeaten, but South Africa’s Irvette Van Zyl ran a national record of 3:04:23, which is the second-fastest women’s result in history.

Negasa’s record

Negasa is primarily a marathoner, but he has never been able to match the necessary times to shine in Ethiopia. He owns a marathon PB of 2:11:07, a time that would rank him in the top 10 all-time among Canadian runners but isn’t even in the top 250 results in Ethiopian history. After his run on Sunday, though, it looks like ultras may be his forte.

It’s important to note that Albertson’s world record, which he set in November 2020, came on a track, while Negasa’s run on Sunday was on the road. Ultrarunning world bests are unique in this sense, because while Albertson and Negasa ran on completely different surfaces, their runs count in the same category of the 50K in general, as the International Association of Ultrarunners introduced a rule that eliminated surface-specific records in 2014. In other World Athletics-sanctioned events, the surface comes into play. For example, the 5K and 5,000m world records both belong to Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, but they’re two different times.

Negasa’s run worked out to an average per-kilometre pace of 3:15 for the full 50K, which helped him top Albertson’s result by 23 seconds. He crossed the line in first place, and he was followed closely by Machele Jonas, who also beat Albertson’s record with a 2:42:15 run. Third went to Mphakathi Ntsindiso in 2:42:18, and in fourth place was Kiptoo Kimaiyo Shedrack, who just beat Albertson’s record in 2:42:29.

Irvette Van Zyl run

Had the Nedbank Runified race been held a couple of months earlier, Van Zyl would have broken the women’s 50K world record. Since the race took place in late May, though, Van Zyl was late to the party, and her time is second-best to Linden’s. When she ran her race in Oregon, Linden became the first woman to break three hours over 50K, and she smashed Aly Dixon‘s previous record of 3:07:20.

While Van Zyl didn’t manage to beat Linden, she did crush Dixon’s result with her 3:04:23 finish, which is the new South African 50K record. Behind Van Zyl was Lilian Jepkorir Chemweno, who finished in second place in 3:05:00, which is now the third-fastest 50K in history.

(05/30/2021) Views: 61 ⚡AMP
by Running Magazine
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Ethiopia´s Ketema Negasa sets men’s 50K world record with 2:42:07 run in South Africa

Ethiopia’s Ketema Negasa broke the men’s 50K world record on Sunday, running 2:42:07 at the Nedbank Runified race in South Africa. Negasa led the way as he and three other runners beat American CJ Albertson‘s previous record of 2:42:30. In the women’s race, Des Linden‘s recent 2:59:54 world record remained unbeaten, but South Africa’s Irvette Van Zyl ran a national record of 3:04:23, which is the second-fastest women’s result in history.

Negasa’s record

Negasa is primarily a marathoner, but he has never been able to match the necessary times to shine in Ethiopia. He owns a marathon PB of 2:11:07, a time that would rank him in the top 10 all-time among Canadian runners but isn’t even in the top 250 results in Ethiopian history. After his run on Sunday, though, it looks like ultras may be his forte.

It’s important to note that Albertson’s world record, which he set in November 2020, came on a track, while Negasa’s run on Sunday was on the road. Ultrarunning world bests are unique in this sense, because while Albertson and Negasa ran on completely different surfaces, their runs count in the same category of the 50K in general, as the International Association of Ultrarunners introduced a rule that eliminated surface-specific records in 2014. In other World Athletics-sanctioned events, the surface comes into play. For example, the 5K and 5,000m world records both belong to Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, but they’re two different times. 

Negasa’s run worked out to an average per-kilometer pace of 3:15 for the full 50K, which helped him top Albertson’s result by 23 seconds. He crossed the line in first place, and he was followed closely by Machele Jonas, who also beat Albertson’s record with a 2:42:15 run. Third went to Mphakathi Ntsindiso in 2:42:18, and in fourth place was Kiptoo Kimaiyo Shedrack, who just beat Albertson’s record in 2:42:29. 

Irvette Van Zyl run 

Had the Nedbank Runified race been held a couple of months earlier, Van Zyl would have broken the women’s 50K world record. Since the race took place in late May, though, Van Zyl was late to the party, and her time is second-best to Linden’s. When she ran her race in Oregon, Linden became the first woman to break three hours over 50K, and she smashed Aly Dixon‘s previous record of 3:07:20.

While Van Zyl didn’t manage to beat Linden, she did crush Dixon’s result with her 3:04:23 finish, which is the new South African 50K record. Behind Van Zyl was Lilian Jepkorir Chemweno, who finished in second place in 3:05:00, which is now the third-fastest 50K in history. 

(05/24/2021) Views: 80 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei misses 3K WR in Ostrava

All eyes were on Joshua Cheptegei ahead of Wednesday’s Ostrava Golden Spike meet in the Czech Republic, as the 24-year-old Ugandan was looking to break the 3,000m world record. Cheptegei ended up running to a disappointing finish, falling well short of the record, but the meet was far from uneventful, as several other athletes posted remarkable times. Among these impressive performances were runs from teenaged Brits Max Burgin and Keely Hodgkinson in the men’s and women’s 800m races and an amazing showing from Cheptegei’s compatriot Jacob Kiplimo in the 10,000m. 

Cheptegei falls short 

Cheptegei had an incredible 2020 season that saw him run three world records (5K, 5,000m and 10,000m) in four races. He had already raced twice in 2021 ahead of Wednesday’s meet, and he was itching to add another record to his resume, so he targeted Kenyan Daniel Komen‘s 3,000m mark of 7:20.67, which has been the time to beat for 24 years.

Before the run, Cheptegei’s agent, Jurrie van der Velden, told LetsRun.com that this record could be the toughest one Cheptegei has tried to beat, and after he finished 13 seconds behind Komen’s time on Wednesday, that appears to be true. Cheptegei opened the race on world record pace, and he passed through the first 1,600m in 3:55. He proceeded to slow considerably in the following few laps, though, and crossed the line far off the world record. 

British domination 

Young Brits won both 800m races. Hodgkinson’s win wasn’t too much of a surprise, as she has had a tremendous season so far. The 18-year-old opened her season in Austria in January with a U20 indoor 800m world record of 1:59.03 (which American Athing Mu lowered a month later with a 1:58.40 run in Arkansas), and she followed that up with a win in the women’s 800m at the European Indoor Championships. On Wednesday, she broke two minutes for the first time outdoors, winning the women’s race in Ostrava in 1:58.89, which is a new U20 European record. 

The men’s 800m was the first race of the season for Burgin, but he ran extremely well and took the win in 1:44.14. Like Hodgkinson, Burgin (who turns 19 on Thursday) now owns the U20 European 800m record, and his result in the Czech Republic is a new world-leading time for 2021. Both Hodginson’s and Burgin’s times are under the Olympic 800m standards. 

Kiplimo crushes the 10,000m 

With all of the attention on Cheptegei, Kiplimo managed to fly under the radar until his race. Then, lining up in the men’s 10,000m, the 20-year-old flew away from the rest of the field, and 25 laps later, he stopped the clock in 26:33.93. This is a new world-leading time, it crushed the second-place finisher (who crossed the line in 27:07.49) and it shattered Kiplimo’s previous PB of 27:26.68 by close to a full minute. Before the race, Kiplimo said he was hoping to break 27 minutes, and he accomplished this goal with ease. His result now puts him at seventh-best in history at the distance. 

Canadian sprints 

Canadian sprinters Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown were both in action in Ostrava. De Grasse raced the 100m, and he crossed the line in 10.17 seconds. He finished in third place behind American Fred Kerley (9.96) and Justin Gatlin (10.08). Brown also finished in third place, although he raced the 200m. Brown ran 20.40 seconds, and he finished behind Kenny Bednarek of the U.S. (19.93) and Kerley (20.27). Both De Grasse and Brown are set to race at the Gateshead Diamond League on Sunday in the U.K.

(05/19/2021) Views: 70 ⚡AMP
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The athletes' NN Running Team is organizing a global online mass run and Kipchoge, Bekele and Cheptegei are set to participate

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge is set to take part in an online virtual mass run this weekend (22-23 May) along with some 30,000 members of the public who have signed up.

Organised by the Kenyan's Dutch-based NN Running Team, the event - dubbed MA RA TH ON - is being held for the second time. In 2020, some 106,000 registrations were accepted, with participants clocking a distance far enough to run around the world 28 times.

"I am really excited for this coming Saturday and Sunday as the world is running as one," Kipchoge said in quotes reported by the Kenyan Broadcasting Corporation.

"It’s not about running fast, it’s not about winning, but it’s all about participating."

The event sees teams of four around the world run just over 10.5 kilometers each, for a total of the marathon distance 42.195 km.

Each runner runs alone, and records their activity on the Strava application. Additionally, ten teams will each have an NN Running Team athlete compete alongside them.

Among the elite athletes competing are Kipchoge, his fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, and 5 km and 10 km world record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.

"I am very happy that we organize this event again. It has given all the participating athletes a huge motivation in a difficult year," Kamworor said according to the KBC.

Kipchoge's last event was the NN Marathon in Enschede, Netherlands, in April, which he won in 2:04:30.

Kamworor finished second in the Istanbul Half Marathon in 59:38 in April; Bekele won a half marathon in London (1:00:22) at the start of March; while Cheptegei's last outing was a third place finish in a 1500m race at the Ugandan Athletics Federation Trials in April.

(05/19/2021) Views: 218 ⚡AMP
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Joshua Cheptegei will go for Komen's legendary 3000-Meter World Record on Wednesday

Last year, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei set world records in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters as part of an unforgettable 2020 season.

On Wednesday at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, he will try to go one better and become just the third man to hold the 3,000, 5,000, and 10,000 records simultaneously. Yes, that’s right. Cheptegei will attempt to break Daniel Komen‘s legendary 7:20.67 3,000-meter world record which has stood for nearly 25 years — since September 1, 1996.

Cheptegei´s camp is under no illusions as to the difficulty of the feat.

“It’s a big ask for Joshua to break [the 3,000-meter world record], we have to be realistic about that,” Cheptegei’s agent Jurrie van der Velden told LetsRun.com. “But we believe it’s possible with the training he’s done. It will be the toughest attempt for him thus far.”

There are several reasons why. First is the 3,000-meter record itself is one of the longest-standing men’s world records and has scarcely been challenged since. Only Hicham El Guerrouj, who ran 7:23.09 in 1999, has come within four seconds of the mark. Even the great Kenenisa Bekele, previous holder of the 5,000 and 10,000 records, never ran faster than 7:25.79.

Second is Cheptegei’s skillset. While the World Athletics scoring tables say 7:20 is equivalent to 12:36 and 26:15 for 5,000 and 10,000 — both marks Cheptegei has bettered — it will be tougher for Cheptegei who, as a distance specialist, is more suited to the longer events. He will need a lot of speed to break 7:20.67 — it’s 3:56 mile pace for seven-and-a-half laps — and Cheptegei, whose 3,000 pb is 7:33.26, has yet to demonstrate the raw 1500 speed of Komen, who had a personal best of 3:29.46.

In Cheptegei’s defense, he has barely raced the 1500. His Tilastopaja profile lists just three races at the distance, the most recent of which was a pb of 3:37.36 on April 24 in Kampala (elevation: 3,937 feet). He will have to run close to that pace for twice the distance to break Komen’s record.

Cheptegei does have a few things working in his favor, however. He has an ace pacemaker in Australia’s Stewart McSweyn, who ran 3:30 and 7:28 last year, and will also benefit from the pacing light system that aided Cheptegei in his world records in Monaco and Valencia last year. The pace is scheduled for 2:26-2:27 per kilometer, with Dutchman Richard Douma serving as the first pacer through 1200 meters before giving way to McSweyn, who will attempt to go through 2000.

Cheptegei also has Nike’s superspikes, which have made Komen’s once-untouchable record seem more attainable. For eight years — from 2012 through 2019 — no man broke 7:28 for 3,000. In the last eight months, five men have done it, all in Nike spikes.

(05/18/2021) Views: 107 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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World record-holders will headline a stunning cast of athletic talent for the 60th edition of the Golden Spike in Ostrava

Paul Chelimo, Joshua Cheptegei, Genzebe Dibaba, Barbora Spotakova and Anita Wlodarczyk have all gone where no other athlete in history has, while with his indoor world record of 18.07m earlier this year, Hugues Fabrice Zango showed he has the potential to one day surpass Jonathan Edwards’ triple jump world record of 18.29m.

With 1500 fans allowed in the stadium, every set of eyes will be trained on Cheptegei when he takes to the track for the men’s 3000m, the final event on the programme. Edged by Duplantis for Male World Athlete of the Year in 2020, the Ugandan 24-year-old has been untouchable on the track since 2019, setting world records at 5000m and 10,000m.

Cheptegei’s current best for 3000m is 7:33.26, but the enlisting of Australia’s Stewart McSweyn – a 7:28 man – as pacemaker suggests the Ugandan is ready to take a massive chunk off that. If conditions are favourable, he looks primed to challenge Daniel Komen’s 3000m world record of 7:20.67, which has stood for 25 years. The world 10,000m champion sharpened his speed last month with a 3:37.36 1500m PB at altitude in Kampala. Olympic 5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo is likely to be his closest pursuer.

Elsewhere in the distance events, world half marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo will open his season over 10,000m where it seems the 20-year-old Ugandan’s personal best of 27:26.68 is due for serious revision. In the men’s 3000m steeplechase, 2019 Diamond League champion Getnet Wale of Ethiopia will be looking to improve on his best of 8:05.21, having clocked a blazing 7:24.98 for 3000m indoors back in February.

Poland’s world bronze medalist Marcin Lewandowski takes on Ugandan record-holder Ronald Musagala in the men's 1500m. European Indoor 800m champion Patryk Dobek will race the two-lap distance in Ostrava, and the Pole remains undecided between the 800m and the 400m hurdles for the Tokyo Olympics. He should get a good indicator of his medal chances at the longer distance on Wednesday as he takes on seasoned veterans Adam Kszczot and Amel Tuka.

Genzebe Dibaba is the star attraction in the women’s 1500m, her first outing at the distance in which she holds the world record since August 2019. The Ethiopian made an eye-catching half marathon debut last December when clocking 1:05:18 in Valencia, but she failed to finish on her only outing since, an indoor 3000m in February. Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo should be her biggest rival. In the women’s 800m, European indoor champion Keely Hodgkinson should be tough to beat.

Richardson takes on Schippers and Okagbare

In the sprints, the women’s 200m will take top billing, with fans eager to see what Sha’Carri Richardson can produce after her red-hot form in recent weeks. The 21-year-old US sprinter clocked wind-legal 100m times of 10.72, 10.74 and 10.77 already this season and she seems primed to dip below 22 seconds over 200m for the first time. Also in the field is two-time world champion Dafne Schippers and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare.

Olympic 100m bronze medallist Andre De Grasse will face 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin in the men’s 100m and while both have edged below 10 seconds this year, they will have it all to do to beat 400m specialist Fred Kerley, who clocked 9.91 (2.0m/s) in Miami last month.

Kerley is also slated for the 200m, which takes place 80 minutes after the 100m. In the latter, Kenny Bednarek should prove tough to beat, having run 19.94 behind Noah Lyles at the USATF Golden Games recently.

In the men’s 400m, 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James will be looking to return to his best as the clock counts down towards the Tokyo Games. The Grenadian opened his season with a 44.88-second clocking in Phoenix, USA, last month, though Vernon Norwood is the quickest in the field this year with his 44.64.

Olympic bronze medallist Yasmani Copello headlines the men’s 400m hurdles, while Denmark’s Sara Slott Petersen is the quickest on paper in the women’s event.

(05/17/2021) Views: 74 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Joshua Cheptegei and Monto Duplatis are set to make Czech debut in World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Ostrava on May 19

World record-holders Monto Duplantis and Joshua Cheptegei, along with world U20 record-holder Sha’Carri Richardson, will compete in the Czech Republic for the first time in their careers when they line up at the Golden Spike, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Ostrava on May 19.

This year’s Golden Spike will be the 60th edition and the line-up of top names already announced for the competition will ensure that the meeting will be a memorable one.

Duplantis, the Male World Athlete of the Year, will have one eye on breaking the meeting record in the pole vault.

“Ostrava will be my first outdoor competition in Europe and I am really looking forward to jumping for the first time in the Czech Republic,” said Duplantis, who will compete against two-time world champion Sam Kendricks in Ostrava. “My training and preparation back home in Louisiana has gone very well so I feel confident and hope for good conditions.”

Cheptegei, who last year set world records over 5000m and 10,000m, will step down to the 3000m in Ostrava. His best for that distance is 7:33.26, but the meeting record of 7:31.66 looks to be within reach for the world 10,000m and cross country champion from Uganda.

Richardson has already started her year in fine form. She sped to a lifetime best of 10.72 over 100m in Miramar last month, then clocked a season’s best of 22.11 over 200m one week later, just 0.11 shy of the PB she set last year.

The 21-year-old will contest the 200m in Ostrava and will face multiple world and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and two-time world champion Dafne Schippers.

Canada’s world and Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse is confirmed for the men’s 100m, while three-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslak will go in the 400m.

World record-holder Barbora Spotakova and European indoor shot put champion Tomas Stanek are among the other leading Czech athletes who’ll be in action on 19 May. Spotakova will take on fellow Czech javelin thrower Nikola Ogrodnikova, while 2017 Diamond League winner Jakub Vadlejch will contest the men’s event.

Other confirmed Czech stars include two-time world 400m hurdles champion Zuzana Hejnova, long jumper Radek Juska, middle-distance runners Jakub Holusa and Filip Sasinek, and decathlon specialist Adam Sebastian Helcelet.

As was announced last week, world hammer record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk and 2017 world javelin champion Johannes Vetter are also confirmed to compete in Ostrava.

The Golden Spike was granted an exemption from the Czech Republic’s ban on holding mass events, and the meeting is permitted to welcome 1500 fans into the stadium.

(05/07/2021) Views: 83 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Sir Mo Farah opened his 2021 racing season winning the inaugural Djibouti International Half-Marathon

Mo Farah opened his 2021 racing season Friday at the Djibouti International Half-Marathon, winning the race in a time of 1:03:06. This was his first competition since he ran the Antrim Coast Half Marathon on September 12, where he crossed the finish line in 60:27 for the win.

After spending the last seven weeks at a training camp in Ethiopia, this race was meant to be a test of fitness ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, where the four-time Olympic champion will be hunting for another gold medal.

The Djibouti Half-Marathon is a special race for the 37-year-old, because it’s a chance for him to run in the place where he spent his childhood before moving to Britain. In an interview with Athletics Weekly ahead of the race, Farah was not shy about his goal: he was there to win.

“It’s not just going to be a case of me turning up. It’s going to be tough and there are a lot of decent guys racing so I’ll just go out there and see what I can do,” he said. ““It’ll be good to get back in the right frame of mind in terms of racing again and to test myself.”

As Farah predicted, the race was tough, and he didn’t win it handily. His training partner Bashir Abdi finished only four seconds behind him in 1:03:10, and the top seven men all ran under 1:05.

With the Tokyo Olympic Games only four-and-a-half months away, Farah will now be turning his attention to the track as he prepares to defend his 10,000m Olympic title. With competitors like Joshua Cheptegei, who ran a 26:11.00 for 10K last October, challenging him for the win, this won’t be an easy feat, but Farah told AW that results like that get him “fired up.”

“It’s not just Cheptegei – there’s Jacob Kiplimo, Moh Ahmed – you’ve got so many guys coming through at the moment and I think it’s exciting for the sport to have all of these people at that level.”

While his result in Djibouti was a few minutes off his half-marathon personal best of 59:32 (set in 2015), Farah did exactly what he set out to do, which was to test his fitness and win the race. With that goal accomplished, it’s safe to say that Farah is progressing well toward the Olympics, and we look forward to seeing what he will do on the track this summer.

(03/06/2021) Views: 153 ⚡AMP
by Brittany Hambleton
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Two Ugandan world champions, Joshua Cheptegei and Halimah Nakaayi open new track in Uganda

Ugandan world champions Joshua Cheptegei and Halimah Nakaayi recently helped open a track in Chemwania, a village in Uganda.

With the help of Global Sports Communication (the management agency that represents Cheptegei and Nakaayi) and the NN Running Team (Cheptegei’s professional team), the pair funded the development of the track, which was built with the next generation of Ugandan running stars in mind.

Cheptegai is the reigning 10,000m world champion, he owns four world records (5K, 5,000m, 10,000m and 15K) and he is a heavy favourite to win the 5,000m-10,000m double at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. He grew up in Uganda’s Kapchorwa District, which isn’t far from the new track in Chemwania.

Nakaayi, the 800m gold medallist at the 2019 world championships, grew up in Mukono, closer to the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

As reported by Ugandan news outlet the Daily Monitor, Cheptegei spoke at the track’s opening ceremony, saying that he and Nakaayi helped with its development to provide local athletes with “a more conducive environment so that the country can tap and groom more sports personalities.” 

He also noted that construction on a sports complex will soon begin in Chemwania.

The project will cost 1 billion Ugandan shillings (about C$344,000), and it will be funded by the district’s local government and Global Sports Communication (the management agency that represents Cheptegei and Nakaayi). The complex will have a pool, a basketball court, a soccer field and a tennis court, plus it will be equipped 2,000 seats for spectators.

This is not the first time Cheptegei has looked to nurture young Ugandan athletes. In 2020, his foundation (the Joshua Cheptegei Development Foundation) started a kids’ run in Kapchorwa, with races open to children aged 16 and younger.

(03/03/2021) Views: 135 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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14:43! Chepkoech breaks world 5km record in Monaco

Beatrice Chepkoech broke the world 5km record at the Monaco Run on Sunday (14), clocking 14:43*.

The performance by the 29-year-old Kenyan bettered the previous record in a mixed gender race of 14:48 set by Caroline Kipkirui in 2018, and is also one second faster than Sifan Hassan's 14:44 record for a women's-only race, until this morning the fastest time ever produced over the distance since the 5km was introduced as a world record event in November 2017.

Chepkoech battled strong winds during the early stages of the race along the Monaco coastline but fought on over the latter stages to claim a second world record, this one joining her 8:44.32 record in the 3000m steeplechase set in 2018, also in Monaco.

"I'm so happy because I didn't expect it," said Chepkoech, the 2019 world champion in the steeplechase. "It was cold and there was a lot of wind, but I tried to follow my pace maker and everything was perfect."

She may not have had the world record in mind initially, but Chepkoech did set her sights on victory from the outset. 

Despite the winds, Chepkoech had already forged a six-second lead just 500 metres into the race, before reaching the first kilometre in 2:57, 15 seconds clear of Meraf Bahta, her nearest competitor. Splits of 2:59 for the second kilometre and 3:01 for the third followed before she and pacesetter Luuk Maas decided to up the tempo as they approached the Larvotto Tunnel portion of the course, at the northeastern edge of the Principality's main port, a second time. 

Since the winds had died down, she said, "my pacemaker told me ‘we can do it, let’s push it’."

She did.

After a 2:57 fourth kilometre, Chepkoech ended her morning's work with a 2:47 closing kilometre to take ownership of the world record.

Chepkoech had already illustrated her strong early 2021 form with an 8:34.21 career best over 3000m indoors in Lievin on 9 February. She'll race next at the Copernicus Cup leg of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting series in Torun, Poland, on 17 February before returning home to resume her training.

Joshua Cheptegei, who set the men's world record of 12:51 at this race last year, successfully defended his title, clocking 13:13.

The 24-year-old Ugandan ran at or near the front from the gun but it was clear early on that the conditions would not be conducive for a serious assault on his year-old record.

"The wind was incredibly difficult," said Cheptegei, who covered the opening kilometre in 2:44, 13 seconds behind the pace that propelled him to the world record last year. Kilometre splits of 2:41, 2:37 and 2:38 followed before he closed with a 2:32, the fastest of the race.

Kenyans Bethwell Birgen and Davis Kiplangat clocked 13:17 and 13:19 to round out the top three with Morhad Amdouni of France fourth in 13:19, one second outside of the European record set by compatriot Jimmy Gressier at this race last year.

 

(02/14/2021) Views: 227 ⚡AMP
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Herculis 5k

Herculis 5k

The 5km Herculis course runs from the Port Hercule to the Quai Albert 1er and through the Boulevard Princesse Grace, give yourself a chance to run across the principality of Monaco and to participate in a fast, exclusive and official race. ...

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Joshua Cheptegei set two world records in Monaco in 2020, now he is ready to open season in return to Monaco this Sunday

A lot has changed since this time last year, but one thing that has remained the same is the fact that Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is a dominant force in the world of running. In 2020, he set three world records in just four races, two of which were in Monaco.

He is set to return to Monaco on Sunday to race a 5K, opening his season the same way he did in 2020. Every race Cheptegei entered last year was a thriller, so you won’t want to miss his run on Sunday. 

Cheptegei won last year’s Monaco 5K, absolutely crushing the rest of the field and running to a world record of 12:51. He smashed the 5K world record while also bettering his own PB by a whopping 33 seconds. His win in Monaco came just a few weeks before the season was put on hold due to COVID-19, but when Cheptegei made his comeback in August, he was in similar form. 

His second race of the season was also at a 5K in Monaco, although this time he was racing on the track. He ran to the 5,000m world record, posting an incredible time of 12:35.36. Two months later, Cheptegei broke his third record of the year at a 10,000m race in Valencia, Spain, where he hammered out a remarkable 26:11.00 result.

Finally, just 10 days after his run in Spain, Cheptegei raced the World Half-Marathon Championships in Poland, and while he didn’t win, he still finished in a blazing-fast time of 59:21 to finish fourth in his debut at the distance. 

Cheptegei is one of the most exciting runners to watch right now, and he’ll likely wow the running world once again on Sunday. Even if he can’t break his own 5K world record (because, let’s be honest, that 12:51 will be extremely tough to beat), he’s apt to run an amazing race. 

Alot has changed since this time last year, but one thing that has remained the same is the fact that Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is a dominant force in the world of running. In 2020, he set three world records in just four races, two of which were in Monaco. He is set to return to Monaco on Sunday to race a 5K, opening his season the same way he did in 2020. Every race Cheptegei entered last year was a thriller, so you won’t want to miss his run on Sunday. 

Why should you watch? 

Cheptegei won last year’s Monaco 5K, absolutely crushing the rest of the field and running to a world record of 12:51. He smashed the 5K world record while also bettering his own PB by a whopping 33 seconds. His win in Monaco came just a few weeks before the season was put on hold due to COVID-19, but when Cheptegei made his comeback in August, he was in similar form. 

His second race of the season was also at a 5K in Monaco, although this time he was racing on the track. He ran to the 5,000m world record, posting an incredible time of 12:35.36. Two months later, Cheptegei broke his third record of the year at a 10,000m race in Valencia, Spain, where he hammered out a remarkable 26:11.00 result. Finally, just 10 days after his run in Spain, Cheptegei raced the World Half-Marathon Championships in Poland, and while he didn’t win, he still finished in a blazing-fast time of 59:21 to finish fourth in his debut at the distance. 

Cheptegei is one of the most exciting runners to watch right now, and he’ll likely wow the running world once again on Sunday. Even if he can’t break his own 5K world record (because, let’s be honest, that 12:51 will be extremely tough to beat), he’s apt to run an amazing race.

Cheptegei isn’t the only reason you should watch the Monaco 5K. In the women’s race,

Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech is the biggest name in the field, and she could have a big performance, too. Chepkoech is the 3,000m steeplechase world record holder (a title she earned in Monaco in 2018), and she’s coming off a successful 2020 season. 

Her current 5K road PB of 16:25 may not be anything special, but she ran that seven years ago and hasn’t raced the event since. She is a much stronger athlete now, and she will be looking to lower that significantly on Sunday.

(02/12/2021) Views: 197 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Herculis 5k

Herculis 5k

The 5km Herculis course runs from the Port Hercule to the Quai Albert 1er and through the Boulevard Princesse Grace, give yourself a chance to run across the principality of Monaco and to participate in a fast, exclusive and official race. ...

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NCAA May Not Accept Christian Noble’s 13:37 Division II 5K Record Due to Pacing Lights

On Sunday night, Christian Noble of Lee (Tenn.) University ran the fastest indoor time ever by a Division II 5,000-meter runner. Noble’s 13:37.39 at the Magic City Elite meet in Birmingham, Ala., was an 11-second personal best and almost four seconds faster than the previous DII best of 13:41.08, run by Abilene Christian’s Nicodemus Naimadu 16 years ago. It was a stellar performance, run mostly alone — Noble led every step of the final 15 laps after pacemaker Garrett O’Toole stepped off the track after two kilometers.

And it may not count.

On Monday afternoon, Dave Milner, the meet director of Magic City Elite, was forwarded an email by an NCAA official, inquiring about “Illegal Assistance by the use of pacing lights.” Milner said the official told him the case will go before a committee to determine whether the NCAA will recognize the mark. Noble easily surpassed the automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Indoor Championships (14:03.43), but if the NCAA fails to recognize his performance on Sunday, he would have to run another race in order to qualify — at a time when indoor competitions are in short supply.

“Christian’s coach Caleb Morgan called me [on Thursday] and told me, I’ve heard through the grapevine that they’re not going to allow the mark,” Milner says.

The NCAA does not maintain official collegiate records. The USTFCCCA, which does keep track of records, currently lists Noble as the Division II record holder, but that may change, depending on the NCAA’s findings.

“Our aim with records and marks that originate in-season is to follow the competition rulings the collegiate governing body has upheld,” USTFCCCA director of media, broadcasting, and analytics Tom Lewis wrote in an email to LetsRun.com.

The Magic City Elite meet utilized Light Speed Pacing — a system similar to the Wavelight technology that helped Joshua Cheptegei break world records at 5,000 and 10,000 meters last year in Monaco and Valencia (Milner also used Light Speed at the Five & Dime Athletics Meeting in December, in which Jenna Hutchinsset a girls’ high school 5,000 record of 15:34.47). Light Speed uses 16 lights, which are evenly-spaced on the infield just inside lane 1 and programmed to light up to indicate a specified pace.

Ahead of the meet, Milner asked his chief official to check the NCAA and USATF rulebooks to ensure the Light Speed system was okay. They couldn’t find anything that suggested the lights were illegal.

All five races at Magic City (two high school races and three open races) utilized Light Speed; Noble and Wingate University’s Tai Smith, also entered in the men’s 5,000, were the only collegiate athletes entered in the meet. In the men’s 5,000, Milner instructed David Hudman, the operator of Light Speed Pacing, to set the pace at 13:40 — a time that both Noble and post-collegiate athlete James Quattlebaum were targeting. Noble ran 13:37; Quattlebaum wound up fading and finishing second in 14:07. Smith, the only other finisher, ran 14:24 — 47 seconds behind Noble. An NCAA official declined to say whether Smith’s time, currently #4 in Division II, is in jeopardy as well.

What the rulebook says

Electronic lights such as Light Speed are specifically allowed under both USATF and World Athletics rules, but under NCAA rules, they are prohibited.

Here is what NCAA Track & Field Rule 6, Section 4, Article 1a.4) (see page 57 here, emphasis added):

For the purpose of this rule, the following shall be considered assistance, and therefore not allowed: Pacing in races by persons not participating in the same race, by lapped competitors or those about to be lapped, by competitors of the opposite gender in the same race, or pacesetting by any kind of technical device that benefits the field.

But the NCAA’s 2020-21 championship qualifying criteria states that “qualifying marks must be made in a scheduled collegiate or open track and field meet conducted under the NCAA Rules of Competition or an open track and field competition conducted under the competition rules of the NCAA, USATF or IAAF.” The Magic City Elite meet was an open competition conducted under USATF rules (the meet was USATF-sanctioned) — and again, pacing lights are explicitly legal under USATF rules.

After realizing this, we immediately wondered why is this even being investigated. The NCAA rulebook says athletes can be disqualified only “on the report of an official, or from a properly filed protest.” So who filed the report or protest?

Mark Kostek, the secretary rules editor for NCAA men’s & women’s track & field/cross country, declined to disclose the identity of the individual who filed the report, stating only, “an outside source provided video evidence of the pacing lights being utilized.”

We asked Kostek who at NCAA would make the final call about whether Noble’s mark will stand and he replied in writing, “This answer is not within my purview. I only interpret if a violation occurred…After viewing the race it was clear that the athlete(s) did receive the benefit of pacesetting by the utilization of a technical device which by rules is not allowed.”

That doesn’t mean that the mark is definitely not allowed. Noble’s coach, Caleb Morgan, submitted an appeal to the NCAA on Thursday.

What a joke – pacing lights should be encouraged during a pandemic

Let’s bring some common sense into the equation. The pacing lights did not change the outcome of the race. For the NCAA to prevent the top distance runner in Division II from competing at the national championships because there were pacing lights in a three-person race — which he won by 30+ seconds — at a tiny meet in January is utterly nonsensical in any year, but particularly this one, when we are in the midst of a global pandemic. Pacing lights can actually make a race safer from a COVID-19 perspective as compared to having a real human pacer (though the Magic City meet featured both). Plus the NCAA qualifying criteria says you can qualify at open meets run under USATF rules, as was the case here.

The whole situation is farcical, a perfect storm of an out-of-date rule and an unknown third party trying to rain on one of the brightest moments of the 2021 indoor season.

Last year, after Wavelight technology started to become widespread, World Athletics and USATF updated their rulebooks to make clear pacing lights were legal. The NCAA, whether out of stubbornness or indifference, did not follow their lead and update its own rules.

So now we have a situation where a collegiate athlete can be paced by a professional runner — who, unlike a pacing light, can break the wind — but not by a set of lights. If pacing lights can be used to set a world record, why can’t they be used to set an NCAA record as well?

“The thing that bothers me most about this is that, big picture, this kind of technology makes a track meet more engaging for the fan as much as it helps the athlete,” said Milner.

There are a few silver linings. Even if Noble’s mark does not count for NCAA qualifying purposes, he is already qualified for NCAAs in the mile (he is the DII leader at 4:00.60) and will go for a qualifier in the 3,000 this weekend. And since the meet was USATF-sanctioned and the race followed USATF rules, Noble can still use it to qualify for this summer’s US Olympic Trials — if he makes the cut (the auto standard is 13:25.00).

Which means that, regardless of what any NCAA committee determines, 13:37.39 is Christian Noble’s official personal best. In the eyes of USATF. In the eyes of World Athletics. And in the eyes of anyone with common sense.

 

(01/30/2021) Views: 212 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Seb Coe relaxed over game-changing shoe technology in athletics

Seb Coe says he is not about to push for the banning of the controversial track spikes worn by Mo Farah’s biggest Olympic rival.

Joshua Cheptegei, who is due to go head-to-head with reigning champion Farah in the 10,000m in Tokyo, recently obliterated the world record both for that distance and the 5,000m.

He did so wearing the new Nike ZoomX Dragonfly shoes which contain a carbon plate and a unique foam and have been billed as the “fastest shoes ever”.

Coe, president of World Athletics, is aware that former British star Tim Hutchings believes the latest shoe technology merits a new classification of world records.

The Olympic legend insists world records “do matter”, need to be “cherished” and recognised the world over as a “benchmark of a suffusion of skill, talent, hard work and great coaching”.

But he says: “We shouldn't be in the business of trying to suffocate innovation. I don't think we've reached that point where world records are being handed out like confetti.”

Coe has seen shoe technology change the face of road running, with Eliud Kipchoge becoming the first human to clock a sub two-hour marathon, wearing Nike’s revolutionary Alphafly shoe.

But he plays down fears for the track record book being rewritten, claiming there are now more control mechanisms in place.

But Hutchings is unconvinced, telling insidethegames : "It's clear that performances in these shoes, both road and track, should be in a separate category, or at least asterisked.

"To compare performances in the shoes, with those not in the shoes, is grossly unfair to the athletes in the latter category.”

Seb Coe says he is not about to push for the banning of the controversial track spikes worn by Mo Farah’s b

(01/04/2021) Views: 145 ⚡AMP
by Alex Spink
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Joshua Cheptegei aims for 'amazing' Tokyo double

Joshua Cheptegei has said his focus is on becoming just the eighth man to successfully complete the 5,000m-10,000m double at an Olympic Games.

The Ugandan, 24, set world records over bothdistances last year, adding to the 5,000m world gold he won at Doha 2019.

"It would be a mountain to climb, but the challenge is up to me," he told BBC World Service Sport.

"It is demanding a lot, in terms of racing and mindset but I want to give myself a try to win both gold medals."

Seven men have won both 5,000m and 10,000m golds at the same Olympics, with Britain's Mo Farah doing the double at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

As a teenager, Cheptegei finished eighth and sixth in the 5,000m and 10,000m finals respectively in Rio.

"It would be really amazing to win the double, but if I win gold in the 10,000m I would still be grateful," Cheptegei added.

Uganda have won only two Olympic gold medals in their history, with John Akii-Bua winning the 400m hurdles in 1972 and Stephen Kiprotich winning the marathon 40 years later in London.

Cheptegei wears Nike's ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, which transplant the sportswear giant's controversial combination of highly resilient foam and carbon plates to the track.

However Cheptegei believes that, with the same technology available to all athletes if they want it, he doesn't have any unfair advantage.

"The shoes really do help," he said.

"But in this case the shoes are not only available to Mr Cheptegei.

"They are available for everyone who wants to attack the world record.

"You have seen the likes of Yomif Kejelcha, Selemon Barega...it is not about shoes only, but athletes having this period concentrating more on training and not travelling.

"I was focused on just this one thing. And that was breaking the world record."

(01/02/2021) Views: 275 ⚡AMP
by BBC
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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei has said his focus is on becoming just the eighth man to successfully complete the 5,000m-10,000m double at an Olympic Games

The Ugandan, 24, set world records over both distances last year, adding to the 5,000m world gold he won at Doha 2019.

"It would be a mountain to climb, but the challenge is up to me," he told BBC World Service Sport.

"It is demanding a lot, in terms of racing and mindset but I want to give myself a try to win both gold medals."

Seven men have won both 5,000m and 10,000m golds at the same Olympics, with Britain's Mo Farah doing the double at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

As a teenager, Cheptegei finished eighth and sixth in the 5,000m and 10,000m finals respectively in Rio.

"It would be really amazing to win the double, but if I win gold in the 10,000m I would still be grateful," Cheptegei added.

Uganda have won only two Olympic gold medals in their history, with John Akii-Bua winning the 400m hurdles in 1972 and Stephen Kiprotich winning the marathon 40 years later in London.

Cheptegei wears Nike's ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, which transplant the sportswear giant's controversial combination of highly resilient foam and carbon plates to the track.

However Cheptegei believes that, with the same technology available to all athletes if they want it, he doesn't have any unfair advantage.

"The shoes really do help," he said.

"But in this case the shoes are not only available to Mr Cheptegei.

"They are available for everyone who wants to attack the world record.

"You have seen the likes of Yomif Kejelcha, Selemon Barega...it is not about shoes only, but athletes having this period concentrating more on training and not traveling.

"I was focused on just this one thing. And that was breaking the world record."

(12/29/2020) Views: 262 ⚡AMP
by BBC Athletics
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Kenyan Hellen Obiri calls Wavelight technology same as doping

Two-time world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya recently spoke out about Wavelight technology and its use in track races, voicing her displeasure with the electronic pacing system. In an interview with BBC Sport Africa, the Olympic silver medallist said Wavelight technology gives athletes an unfair advantage, and she likened using it to doping.

“To me [Wavelight and doping] are the same,” she said. Obiri’s criticism of the innovative technology comes two months after Joshua Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey ran to 10,000m and 5,000m world records with the aid of the light pacing system on a track in Valencia. 

In the past, athletes running record attempts were paced by other runners for a portion of the race, and this is still a common practice. Cheptegei and Gidey used pacers as well, but when those runners stepped off the track, the pace lights were still there, representing the pace they had to match. This is one of the reasons Obiri doesn’t like the technology. 

“You can just watch [and know], ‘I am inside the world record or outside [the] world record,'” Obiri told the BBC.  “But when you are running alone, you can’t know whether you are inside or outside [the] world record.” Obiri notes that pacers can only take a runner so far before they themselves need to drop out of a race, but Wavelight technology “can take you … up to the finish.” Obiri isn’t the first to criticize this technology, but she could be the most prominent athlete to speak out about it so far. 

Obiri also takes issue with the lack of opportunities in Wavelight racing, adding that, if this technology is here to stay, it should at least be available to all athletes. “I think it can be fair if all athletes are there, not one or two,” she said. “More like 12 athletes where anybody can break the world record.” When Cheptegei and Gidey ran in Valencia, they were the only runners on the track working toward the world records. “For me, it is better [to include multiple athletes] than to put one athlete in a race. If it’s available, let it be available to all.”

While she doesn’t agree with the use of Wavelight technology, Obiri said she understands that it is another part of development and innovation in track. “It is good to see the new things coming, but sometimes we need to work extra hard and not depend on other things. The way we used to do before.”

(12/22/2020) Views: 141 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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World records ratified: Gidey's 5000m and Cheptegei's 10,000m

The monumental performances of Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey and Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, to break two of the sport’s most revered world records within one glorious hour, have been officially ratified.

Gidey’s 5000m mark of 14:06.62 and Cheptegei's 10,000m performance of 26:11.00 were both set at the aptly named NN Valencia World Record Day on 7 October.

Gidey went first, producing a stunning run that clipped more than four seconds from the previous record set by Tirunesh Dibaba 12 years earlier. A few minutes after the 22-year-old crossed the line, Cheptegei took his turn, churning out 25 laps of the track in an average of less than 63 seconds apiece to better Kenenisa Bekele’s 15-year-old benchmark by more than six seconds. The records for those two events had never been broken on the same day.

The two-race meeting was held at the Spanish city’s intimate Turia Stadium before a crowd limited to less than 150 due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

That scene was in stark contrast to those in Oslo, on 6 June 2008, when Dibaba took command of the world 5000m record with a 14:11.15 run and three years earlier, in Brussels on 26 August 2005, when Bekele clocked 26:17.53 to clip 2.57 seconds from his own year-old mark. The roar of capacity crowds at the events, both fixtures of the Golden League series, were crucial in those record assaults. In Brussels, the pulsating beat provided by an African expat drum orchestra added to the thunder produced by the crowd of 47,000 that packed the King Baudouin Stadium.

That was absent in Valencia, but it didn’t seem to matter to either Gidey or Cheptegei whose phenomenal form and singular focus landed both in the record books. For Cheptegei, whose performance came 54 days after he broke the world 5000m record in Monaco, where attendance was also restricted, the circumstances of the setting wasn’t anything new.

“I wanted to show the sports lovers of the world that the track is exciting," said the 24-year-old, who became the 10th man to hold the 5000m and 10,000m world record concurrently.

Pace setters brought Cheptegei through the first half in 13:07.73, before the Ugandan forged on alone over the final 12 laps. He slowed slightly over the sixth kilometre but then picked up the pace in the seventh to steadily build a gap on Bekele's legendary mark before sealing it with a 60-second final lap.

Alluding to the coronavirus pandemic, Cheptegei added, "In this difficult situation, I hope things like this can still give us joy and some hope for tomorrow."

Gidey, a cross country standout with two world U20 titles to her credit and a bronze medal finish at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, last year, arrived in Valencia with just one race on her CV this season, a solid 14:26.57 run in Monaco, but reportedly in form suggesting that she could run significantly faster. 

Unlike Cheptegei, who made no secret about his planned assault on the record, Gidey opted for a more understated approach in the lead-in to the meeting, choosing to play down pre-race talk of her attack on Dibaba's mark. But her ambitions became evident when she passed the 3000-metre point nearly seven seconds ahead of world record pace. She closed the deal with back-to-back 67-second laps before crossing the finish.

“I have been dreaming about this (setting a world record) for six years,” said Gidey, who hadn't won a 5000m race since 2016. "I am very happy now."

 

(12/13/2020) Views: 192 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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American Record Alert: Emily Sisson Targeting Molly Huddle’s 67:25 AR at Sunday’s Valencia Half Marathon

At times, the 2020 track & field season has felt like one giant record chase. With the vast majority of major championships cancelled, athletes have shifted their targets from medals to times. And with the ability to focus on one race with the sole goal of running as fast as possible, records have tumbled around the globe. Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei took down Kenenisa Bekele‘s 16-year-old 5,000-meter world record in August. In the span of one hour in October, Letesenbet Gidey broke Tirunesh Dibaba‘s 5,000-meter world record and Cheptegei fully erased Bekele from the outdoor record books by breaking his 10,000m mark. Domestically, Shelby Houlihan chopped over 10 seconds off her American 5,000-meter record back in July, taking it down to 14:23.92.

The latest installment of the Great Record Chase of 2020 comes on Sunday in Valencia, where distance studs Rhonex Kipruto, Jacob Kiplimo, and Gidey will have the half marathon world records in their sights. Just a few minutes back, Emily Sisson — one of the few Americans making the trip to Spain (Jordan Hasay is also entered in the marathon) — will be shooting for a mark of her own: the 67:25 American half marathon record, currently held by her friend and occasional training partner Molly Huddle.

says Ray Treacy, who coaches both Sisson and Huddle. “That’s the goal and see how she feels the last 5k…We’re just hoping for the best and she gets her reward for all the hard work she’s done over the last four or five months, because this is her only race.”

Sisson hasn’t raced since dropping out of the US Olympic Marathon Trials in February, though she did run the virtual New York City Marathon in 2:38:00 in October (Treacy says the aim was merely to get in a good long run effort, adding that it felt “easy” for Sisson and that she recovered “immediately”). Considering her goal is to make the Olympic team at 10,000 meters next year, Treacy did not want Sisson to run another marathon this fall, making the half marathon a natural distance for a target race. And with USATF opting not to send a team to the World Half Marathon Championships, Valencia was the best option.

Treacy says Sisson’s fitness is “really, really good” at the moment, with the 29-year-old clocking 24:37 recently for a five-mile time trial and averaging 5:05 pace for a 4 x 2-mile workout — well under American record pace (AR paceis 5:09). Currently, Sisson sits #2 on the all-time US list thanks to her 67:30 in Houston last year.

There are a couple of potential stumbling blocks, however. First, Sisson may not have any company during the race. The top women will be aiming to run the world record (64:31) or close to it, which is beyond Sisson’s abilities. Though there are two other women — Kenyans Brenda Jepleting (67:07) and Sheila Chepkirui (67:37) — with personal bests close to Sisson, it’s unclear whether they’ll try to run with her or opt for the more aggressive pace up front.

Treacy believes Sisson should be able to handle that situation just fine, though. She was alone for most of the second half of her marathon debut in London in 2019 and came out with a stellar 2:23:08 personal best.

“She’s pretty good at doing that anyway, so I’m not worried about it,” Treacy says.

The larger concern is the weather. The high of 58 degrees in Valencia on Sunday is fine, but the projected winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour could prove problematic.

While Sisson still has several years of her prime remaining, record opportunities like this are precious. Under Treacy, Huddle only raced one half marathon per year from 2015 to 2020, and three of those came on a relatively tough course in New York. Even when Huddle did finally set the record in Houston in 2018, she wasn’t 100% as she had gotten sick a few days earlier.

“[Huddle] never had the opportunity to run really, really fast,” Treacy says. “Certainly when Molly was in the shape she was in Rio, (where she ran an American 10,000m record of 30:13 at the 2016 Olympics), I think she could have run 66:30, 66:40.”

Sisson will get her shot on Sunday. Can she give the Great Record Chase of 2020 a fitting send-off?

(12/05/2020) Views: 212 ⚡AMP
by Let’s Run
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Emily Sisson will be targeting Molly Huddle’s 67:25 AR at Sunday’s Valencia Half Marathon

At times, the 2020 track & field season has felt like one giant record chase. With the vast majority of major championships cancelled, athletes have shifted their targets from medals to times. And with the ability to focus on one race with the sole goal of running as fast as possible, records have tumbled around the globe. Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei took down Kenenisa Bekele‘s 16-year-old 5,000-meter world record in August. In the span of one hour in October, Letesenbet Gidey broke Tirunesh Dibaba‘s 5,000-meter world record and Cheptegei fully erased Bekele from the outdoor record books by breaking his 10,000m mark. Domestically, Shelby Houlihan chopped over 10 seconds off her American 5,000-meter record back in July, taking it down to 14:23.92.

The latest installment of the Great Record Chase of 2020 comes on Sunday in Valencia, where distance studs Rhonex Kipruto, Jacob Kiplimo, and Gidey will have the half marathon world records in their sights. Just a few minutes back, Emily Sisson — one of the few Americans making the trip to Spain (Jordan Hasay is also entered in the marathon) — will be shooting for a mark of her own: the 67:25 American half marathon record, currently held by her friend and occasional training partner Molly Huddle.

says Ray Treacy, who coaches both Sisson and Huddle. “That’s the goal and see how she feels the last 5k…We’re just hoping for the best and she gets her reward for all the hard work she’s done over the last four or five months, because this is her only race.”

Sisson hasn’t raced since dropping out of the US Olympic Marathon Trials in February, though she did run the virtual New York City Marathon in 2:38:00 in October (Treacy says the aim was merely to get in a good long run effort, adding that it felt “easy” for Sisson and that she recovered “immediately”). Considering her goal is to make the Olympic team at 10,000 meters next year, Treacy did not want Sisson to run another marathon this fall, making the half marathon a natural distance for a target race. And with USATF opting not to send a team to the World Half Marathon Championships, Valencia was the best option.

Treacy says Sisson’s fitness is “really, really good” at the moment, with the 29-year-old clocking 24:37 recently for a five-mile time trial and averaging 5:05 pace for a 4 x 2-mile workout — well under American record pace (AR paceis 5:09). Currently, Sisson sits #2 on the all-time US list thanks to her 67:30 in Houston last year.

There are a couple of potential stumbling blocks, however. First, Sisson may not have any company during the race. The top women will be aiming to run the world record (64:31) or close to it, which is beyond Sisson’s abilities. Though there are two other women — Kenyans Brenda Jepleting (67:07) and Sheila Chepkirui (67:37) — with personal bests close to Sisson, it’s unclear whether they’ll try to run with her or opt for the more aggressive pace up front.

Treacy believes Sisson should be able to handle that situation just fine, though. She was alone for most of the second half of her marathon debut in London in 2019 and came out with a stellar 2:23:08 personal best.

“She’s pretty good at doing that anyway, so I’m not worried about it,” Treacy says.

The larger concern is the weather. The high of 58 degrees in Valencia on Sunday is fine, but the projected winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour could prove problematic.

While Sisson still has several years of her prime remaining, record opportunities like this are precious. Under Treacy, Huddle only raced one half marathon per year from 2015 to 2020, and three of those came on a relatively tough course in New York. Even when Huddle did finally set the record in Houston in 2018, she wasn’t 100% as she had gotten sick a few days earlier.

“[Huddle] never had the opportunity to run really, really fast,” Treacy says. “Certainly when Molly was in the shape she was in Rio, (where she ran an American 10,000m record of 30:13 at the 2016 Olympics), I think she could have run 66:30, 66:40.”

(12/01/2020) Views: 341 ⚡AMP
by Jonathan Gault
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Valencia Half Marathon

Valencia Half Marathon

The Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Half Marathon has become one of the top running events in the world in its 26thyear. For the third year running, Valencia is the fastest half marathon in the world. The race, organized by SD Correcaminos Athletics Club, celebrated its silver anniversary in style with record participation, record crowd numbers, Silver label IAAF accreditation and an...

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Ababel Yeshaneh, Brigid Kosgei, Kibiwott Kandie and Jacob Kiplimo will renew rivalry at Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon

The fastest half-marathon in the world has attracted the best half-marathon runners on the planet again.

The 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon on February 19 will see reigning champions Kibiwott Kandie and Ababel Yeshaneh defending their titles while world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo and world marathon record-holder Brigid Kosgei will try to wrestle their titles off them.

The event, which is often known simply as ‘the RAK Half’ and which takes place on a super-fast course in the northernmost emirate of the United Arab Emirates in three months’ time, will see mouth-watering clashes in separate men’s and women’s races. More entries are expected to be announced in coming weeks but so far they include:

» Kibiwott Kandie – fastest man in the world over 13.1 miles in 2020 with 58:38 from Prague in September and winner in Ras Al Khamah in February with 58:58. The Kenyan (below) was also runner-up in the World Half Marathon Championships in 58:54, making him the first man to run sub-59min three times in one year.

» Jacob Kiplimo – the Ugandan took the world-marathon title ahead of Kandie in Gdynia last month following a track season that saw him run 7:26.64 for 3000m and 12:48.63 for 5000m. Only 20, he also took world cross-country champs silver behind Joshua Cheptegei in Aarhus last year.

» Ababel Yeshaneh – set a women’s world half-marathon record of 64:31 to win the Ras Al Khaimah race in February. At the World Half in Gdynia she was fifth but the Ethiopian fell in the closing stages. Over the marathon she was runner-up to Kosgei in Chicago last year with 2:20:51.

» Brigid Kosgei – world record-holder for the marathon with 2:14:04 from Chicago in 2019 and winner of the last two London Marathons, whereas over 13.1 miles the Kenyan (below) was 18 seconds behind Yeshaneh in Ras Al Khaimah this year in the second-fastest time in history.

The race is often dominated by east African distance runners but Sara Hall of the United States is one of the early entries, too, and will be sure to attract interest from US fans after her battling runner-up performance at the London Marathon in October.

“This is the fastest half-marathon course in the world and we want it to maintain its fame,” says Ras Al Khaimah Half race director Andrea Trabuio.

With the coronavirus pandemic causing problems around the world, Trabuio says the elite races and non-elite events will be run separately on February 19 in order to maintain social distancing. With the non-elite event there will be seven waves with about 400 runners in each wave with temperature checks at the start and masks being worn for the first few hundred meters.

(11/25/2020) Views: 278 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Rak Half Marathon

Rak Half Marathon

The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is the 'world's fastest half marathon' because if you take the top 10 fastest times recorded in RAK for men (and the same for women) and find the average (for each) and then do the same with the top ten fastest recorded times across all races (you can reference the IAAF for this), the...

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World 1,500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot has missed out on the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year Award

Cheruiyot was Kenya's sole flagbearer for the coveted award. World Athletics has released the final five nominees for the award with the winner expected to be announced virtually on December 5.

Uganda's world record holder in the 5,000m and 10,000m Joshua Cheptegei is the favorite for the gong. He broke world records at 5,000m (12:35.36), 10,000m (26:11.00) and 5km on the roads (12:51) and was fourth at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships on his debut over the distance.

Two-time 400m hurdles world champion Karsten Warholm of Norway makes the cut for the award after a stellar season on the track.

He ran a world-leading 46.87 in the 400m hurdles, the second-fastest performance in history, and was undefeated in nine 400m/400m hurdles races and set a world best of 33.78 in 300m hurdles

Former world javelin champion Johannes Vetter, of Germany, is in the mix after winning eight of his nine javelin competitions and throwing world-leading 97.76m, the second farthest throw in history

World Pole vault record holder Mondo Duplantis of Sweden makes the shortlist. He broke the world record in the pole vault twice (6.17m and 6.18m) and produced the highest outdoor vault of all time (6.15m) and was undefeated in 16 competitions.

USA'S Ryan Crouser will be e hoping to break the trend and win the award. He was undefeated in 10 shot put competitions and his 22.91m world-leading performance moved him to equal third on the world all-time list

A three-way voting process determined the finalists. The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans voted online via our social media platforms.

The Council’s vote counted for 50 per cent of the result, while the Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25 per cent of the final result.

(11/24/2020) Views: 120 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Athletics has announced contenders for COVID Inspiration Award

World Athletics has announced the Herculis Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco, the Ultimate Garden Clash and the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia as the nominations for the special COVID Inspiration Award.

The international governing body revealed the award aims to recognise event organisations in a year of unprecedented challenges, roadblocks and disruptions brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The three events were nominated to show the organisers efforts to meet those challenges and provide competitive opportunities for athletes and entertaining events for fans around the world.

"Necessity has been the mother of invention for all of us in this pandemic year and we have seen some really creative initiatives and programmes from our athletes and our event organisers, who have had to reinvent their operations and surmount huge obstacles in order to provide competition for our athletes and fans, which is the lifeblood of our sport," Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President, said.

"We wanted to recognise their enormous resilience and creativity this year by presenting this special award to one of those events that have been exceptionally innovative this year."

The World Athletics Council selected the three nominations.

The Herculis Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco was put forward with World Athletics claiming the event overcame unprecedented public health and safety concerns, global travel restrictions and painful budget cuts to stage their annual competition.

The event marked the start of the heavily interrupted Diamond League season on 14 August and saw Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei break the men’s 5,000 metres world record in front of a crowd of 5,000 spectators.

The event featured 132 athletes, including 13 reigning world champions.

A total of 36 countries participated in the event despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, with 14 world-leading performances achieved at the meeting.

Of those 14 performances, 11 remained the year’s best performances at the end of the season.

(11/09/2020) Views: 181 ⚡AMP
by Michael Pavitt
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Joshua Cheptegei and Karsten Warholm headline nominees for Male World Athlete of the Year

World Athletics released its list of 10 nominees for Male World Athlete of the Year on Monday, and six of the finalists are runners. The list consists of 10 incredible athletes, each of whom have had amazing 2020 seasons despite having limited opportunities to compete, and it includes the likes of Joshua Cheptegei and Karsten Warholm.

Here are the six runners who have been nominated, along with their accomplishments in 2020 and why they deserve to win Male World Athlete of the Year. 

Noah Lyles only raced a handful of times this year, all in July and August, but he finished his season undefeated. He had one second-place finish in a 100m race in Florida, but that was in a preliminary heat. Later that day, he ran 9.93 seconds in the finals to take the win. He also has the world-leading 200m time of 19.76, which he ran at the Monaco Diamond League. 

Donavan Brazier, Like Lyles, Brazier went undefeated this year. He kicked the season off by setting an American 800m indoor record with a 1:44.22, and he also ran the outdoor 800m world-leading time in Monaco, where he won the race in 1:43.15. Racing in 600m, 800m and 1,500m events throughout the season, Brazier showed off his speed and endurance, often cruising to wins. On top of all that, after his final race of the year, news came out that he had been dealing with plantar fasciitis during these races, although he certainly didn’t let it slow him down too much.

Karsten Warholm, Once again, we have an undefeated athlete nominated. Warholm not only won all six of his 400mH races this year, but he also ran the six fastest times in the event in 2020. He’s the only athlete who ran sub-48 seconds this year (a feat which he accomplished five times), and he also ran the second-fastest 400mH time in history with a 46.87 in Stockholm in August. This was just 0.09 seconds off the world record of 46.78, which has stood since 1992. Finally, he also set the 300mH world record at a meet in Oslo, where he ran 33.78 seconds.

Timothy Cheruiyot, didn’t have an undefeated season, but he did remain perfect in his preferred event of 1,500m. He won each of his three 1,500m races in 2020, and he also set the world-leading time of 3:28.45, which he ran in Monaco. He also stepped out of his comfort zone with a 5,000m run in March. He recorded a time of 13:47.2, and while this result doesn’t even put him in the top 700 all-time among Kenyan runners, it’s still cool to see him broadening his horizons. We don’t expect to see him making the jump to longer races anytime soon, but if a 5,000m every now and then helps him with his endurance for the 1,500m, then all power to him. 

Joshua Cheptegei, has had the year of his life. He raced four times in 2020 and broke three world records. He opened the year with a 5K road world record in Monaco, where he ran 12:51, but before he could continue his season, COVID-19 hit and put everything on hold. His time away from racing didn’t seem to faze him, though, because in his return to competition, he set the 5,000m world record (once again in Monaco) with a time of 12:35.36. Two months later, he followed that up with a 10,000m record of 26:11.00. He ran his season finale at the World Half-Marathon Championships in Poland, and while he didn’t win (he finished in fourth in 59:21), it was his debut at the distance, and he still has plenty of time to chase that world record in the coming years. 

Jacob Kiplimo, only raced three times in 2020, but he won each event, and he showed impressive range as he performed well across three different distances. He opened his season with a 5,000m, which he ran in 12:48.63 (the second-fastest time in Ugandan history, behind only Cheptegei). A little over a week later, he ran a 3,000m in 7:26.64 to set the Ugandan national record and world-leading time in the event. Finally, he won his first world title when he ran to victory in 58:49 at the World Half-Marathon Championships, setting another Ugandan record along the way. 

(11/06/2020) Views: 158 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot makes the cut for Athlete of the Year

World 1,500 meters champion Timothy Cheruiyot has made the 10-man shortlist for the World Athletics Male Athlete of the Year.

The Kenya Prisons officer ran world-leading 3:28.45 over 1,500m and was undefeated in three races in his speciality.

Cheruiyot faces a herculean task to bag the award with Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei the front runner for the award after a stellar season.

Cheptegei broke world records at 5,000m (12:35.36), 10,000m (26:11.00) and 5km on the roads (12:51)  and was fourth at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships on his debut over the distance.

His Ugandan counterpart Jacob Kiplimo won World Half Marathon title in a championship record of 58:49 and ran a world-leading 7:26.64 over 3,000m—the fastest time in the world since 2007.

Donovan Brazier of the United States of America has also made the cut after running a world-leading 800m times  of 1:44.22, North American indoor record and outdoors (1:43.15). He also won all seven of his races over all distances.

World 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm of Norway is also in contention for the coveted award. He has a world-lead of 46.87 in the 400m hurdles, the second fastest performance in history and was undefeated in nine 400m/400m hurdles races. He also set world best of 33.78 in 300m hurdles.

Others in the mix include USA sprint sensation Noah Lyles, who was undefeated in five finals and ran a world leading time of 19.76 over 200m

World javelin bronze medalist Johannes Vetter, of Germany, USA's shot put specialist Ryan Crouser and Swedish duo of Daniel Stahl and Mondo Duplantis also made the cut. A three-way voting process will determine the finalists.

The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email while fans can vote online via the WA social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week; a 'like' on Facebook and Instagram or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.

The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50 per cent of the result while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each account for 25 per cent each of the final result. Voting for the World Athletes of the Year closes at midnight on November 15.

(11/03/2020) Views: 159 ⚡AMP
by William Njuguna
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Britain’s Laura Muir and Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei among World Athletics awards nominees

Britain’s Laura Muir is among the nominees for the female world athlete of the year honor, while Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei is on a shortlist for the male prize at the World Athletics Awards.

This year the global governing body’s awards event will be held virtually on Saturday December 5.

Muir clocked 1500m times of 3:57.40, 3:57.86 and 3:58.24 to lead the world rankings and set a British 1000m record of 2:30.82 in 2020, while Cheptegei broke three world records throughout the year – running 12:51 for a road 5km, 12:35.36 for 5000m on the track and 26:11.00 for 10,000m on the track.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, who set a world record of 14:06.62 over 5000m, and Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, who recorded a world record distance of 18,930m in the one-hour run and broke the European 10,000m record with 29:36.67, are also among the female nominees.

The men’s shortlist also features Sweden’s world pole vault record-breaker Mondo Duplantis and Norway’s Karsten Warholm, who ran a world-leading 46.87 in the 400m hurdles and was unbeaten in that event.

Female world athlete of the year nominees: Femke Bol, Netherlands; Letesenbet Gidey, Ethiopia; Sifan Hassan, Netherlands; Peres Jepchirchir, Kenya; Faith Kipyegon, Kenya; Laura Muir, Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Hellen Obiri, Kenya; Yulimar Rojas, Venezuela; Elaine Thompson-Herah, Jamaica; Ababel Yeshaneh, Ethiopia

Male world athlete of the year nominees: Donavan Brazier, USA; Joshua Cheptegei, Uganda; Timothy Cheruiyot, Kenya; Ryan Crouser, USA; Mondo Duplantis, Sweden; Jacob Kiplimo, Uganda; Noah Lyles, USA; Daniel Stahl, Sweden; Johannes Vetter, Germany; Karsten Warholm, Norway

A three-way voting process will determine the finalists. The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics’ social media platforms.

As well as male and female athlete of the year honors, the World Athletics Awards will include the president’s award, coaching achievement award and athletics photograph of the year, as well as a Covid inspiration award, athletes community award and member federations award.

Last year Eliud Kipchoge and Dalilah Muhammad were named world athletes of the year, while the 2018 winners were Kipchoge and Caterine Ibarguen.

(11/03/2020) Views: 179 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Joshua Cheptegei's world 5000m record of 12:35.36 set at the Wanda Diamond League in Monaco on August 14 has been ratified

The Ugandan, now 24, took two seconds off Kenenisa Bekele’s mark of 12:37.35, set 16 years earlier in Hengelo. Amazingly, it was Cheptegei’s first race since setting a world 5km record on the roads on 16 February, also in Monaco.

Paced through the early stages by Roy Hoornweg (2:31.87 at 1000m) and Matthew Ramsden (5:03.77 at 2000m), Cheptegei, the reigning world cross country and 10,000m champion, took up the running at half way and continued the metronomic pace, churning out 61-second laps. He passed through 3000m in 7:35.14 and then upped the pace slightly with a 2:30 fourth kilometre.

Having left the rest of the field way behind, he maintained his tempo and eked out another 2:30 split for the final kilometre, bringing him to the finish line in 12:35.36 after a 59.64 final lap.

With his season cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cheptegei made no secret of his ambitions to take down's Bekele's record which had stood since the rising star was seven years old, and targeted precisely that in Monaco.

After the race Cheptegei revealed: “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.

“If you believe in something, anything is possible," he continued. "Breaking a record was something really difficult, but when you know the right way, it’s not difficult anymore. So, the next challenge is to go chase one or two more world records. I would be the happiest person in the world.”

On 7 October in Valencia, in his third race of the year, Cheptegei shattered the world record in the 10,000m, clocking 26:11.00, a performance which is now awaiting ratification.

(10/28/2020) Views: 242 ⚡AMP
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Uganda´s Joshua Cheptegei to rest for a month before chasing Olympic dream

Joshua Cheptegei will rest for a month before he starts preparations for the next season."It has been hectic. I want to rest a bit before I prepare for what could be an even more challenging 2021," stated Cheptegei.

The cross-country season begins next month climaxing in March before the track season whose highlight will be the Tokyo Olympics in August.

Rest makes a lot of sense after a season where the Ugandan star has broken three world records.But there are signs of an equally tough upcoming season where Cheptegei will be eyeing a historic 5000 and 10000 meter Olympic double.

"Of course I will be going for double gold in Tokyo," stated Cheptegei from Kapchorwa today.

For now, Stephen Kiprotich is the only Ugandan to have won gold at both the Olympics and World Championships.

Should Cheptegei realize this dream he will become the first Ugandan to soar to such heights.

2016 Olympic 5000 and 10000m gold medals.

Olympic gold is the only medal so far missing in Cheptegei's now rich collection.Victory in Tokyo will not only make Cheptegei one of Africa's greatest athletes,  but also Uganda's most successful ever.

(10/26/2020) Views: 182 ⚡AMP
by James Bakama
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Athlete Refugee team member Nait-Hammou on his half marathon championships debut

Athlete Refugee Team member Otmane Nait-Hammou is making a habit of rubbing elbows with some of the world's finest runners at World Championships.

In Doha last year, he lined up next to reigning world and Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto in the opening round of the 3000m steeplechase. On the Gdynia start line, he stood should-to-shoulder with Joshua Cheptegei, the world record holder in the 5000 and 10,000m.

"If it's destiny or luck I don't know,” he says, laughing when reminded of the company he’s managed to keep at the start lines of his last two World Championship appearances. "It's an honour for me and I feel really proud.”

He’s also taking great pride in what he managed to achieve in Gdynia representing the Athlete Refugee Team.

On Saturday, Nait-Hammou wasn’t the same athlete he was a year ago in the Qatari capital. There, starry-eyed and overwhelmed, he tumbled to the track on the first lap of his race and was the last to finish, more than 70 seconds after Kipruto. In Gdynia, he finished 67th in the field of 122, clocking 1:03:28 in his competitive debut over the distance, beating some of the world’s finest half-marathoners in the process.

The difference? Taking to the line as a fledgling professional athlete, both in practicality and in attitude.

An opportunity to train like a professional

Nait-Hammou began running in his native Morocco in 2012, a passion he continued to feed even when life threw challenges in his path. He went to France in 2015 to pursue his studies, but, unable to return to Morocco, he made the difficult decision to apply for asylum. That road took him to Sweden in 2016 where he watched, on a television in a refugee centre, a team of refugee athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.

Those moving images fuelled his imagination and his motivation. Three years later he himself would compete twice on the international stage, first at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, then again in Doha, modest outings that nonetheless helped him step up to the next level.

“A lot of things changed over the past year,” Nait-Hammou says. “I have a lot of solidarity and support that has changed my life." That includes sponsorship arrangements with On, his apparel sponsor, with the energy gel Maurten, from his French club ES Sartrouville and ongoing development support from World Athletics and Olympic Solidarity.

Together, he says, "these things have given me more confidence and motivation and excitement to train very hard, to push very hard in training. It's a huge difference from when you come to participate and when you come to perform.”

His increasingly professional arrangement allowed him to attend a training camp for the first time, a month-long stint at altitude in Font-Remeu, France, in July and August where he logged 150 to 160 kilometres per week for four straight weeks. It was a type of training he’d never attempted before. “The first week was tough. I was really tired. But then the second week was better, and the third even better.”

It also brought results. On 29 August, he improved his steeplechase best to 8:51.07 at a French regional meeting in Decines Charpieu, his first race in seven months. Two weeks later he finished seventh at the French championships. In between he won a regional 10km in 30:50.

All that set him up well for Gdynia.

“I felt confident at the start line, because I had the opportunity to train and prepare like a professional. That made a big change in my life and my approach. I can see in training that I am getting better. I'm not the same person I was in Doha.”

“I never ran under 30 minutes. Never. I'm still in shock. I still haven't realised what I’ve done. I broke my 10k PB inside a half marathon. In my first half marathon. And in a world championship. It's crazy.”

"I'm starting to think about doing some really strong training this winter for a good marathon early next year," he says, and then focus on the steeplechase during the track season. "I want to go to the marathon for a new adventure. I am excited and motivated for that.

“I'm not thinking the same after Gdynia,” he continues. “I hope I gave the inspiration to other refugees to do better than me in the next World Championships.

“I didn’t come this time to participate. I came to perform. We get the support from World Athletics, from my sponsors, to come to the World Championships, so I wanted to show that we can perform like other athletes. That refugees can be like normal people.

"I beat some Swedish athletes, I beat some Spanish runners. I beat some of the best athletes from other countries, who are all very good athletes. I feel really proud of that and that I was able to represent 69 million people from around the world, to show that we can do it.”

(10/20/2020) Views: 312 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Kiplimo makes history for Uganda at World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

For the first time in the 28-year history of this event, a Ugandan athlete stood proud atop the podium, but it wasn’t the one most expected. In the men’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday (17), it was Jacob Kiplimo and not Joshua Cheptegei who reigned supreme, the 19-year-old coming of age with his first global title at senior level.

With a devastating surge over the last of the four laps, no one could live with Kiplimo and he hit the line a delighted champion in a championship record of 58:49, with Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie second in 58:54 and Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn third in 59:08.

Next in was Cheptegei, who had lost contact with the leaders with a little less than five kilometres to run, the king of the track demoted to fourth place on the roads but rewarded with a swift time of 59:21 on his debut at the distance.

“I couldn’t give more than that,” said Cheptegei, who set a world 10,000m record in Valencia just 10 days ago. “I have been training more for 5000m and 10,000m so I was not well prepared for it, but I’m very happy – running a sub-60 is really special for me. My body was really going very well but I discovered I still had some fatigue in the legs.”

In a race of outstanding quality, the first 10 runners broke 60 minutes, the first time that ever happened at the event and just the second time it has ever happened. This, despite a relatively pedestrian start that saw the leading contenders cruise through the opening lap waiting for one another to make a decisive move.

No Ugandan had ever won an individual medal in 23 previous editions of the event – their one team medal a men’s bronze in 2004 – but the nation has been a rising force in distance running these past few years so today’s result came as no surprise. Kiplimo, after all, had clocked a world-leading 7:26.64 for 3000m in Rome last month and 12:48.63 for 5000m so his credentials were unquestioned, and he had followed Cheptegei home at last year’s World Cross Country Championships.

His only half marathon before today was the 1:01:53 he ran in Kampala last year but from the outset today, he looked most at home at the distance.

In contrast to the women’s race, the men’s race set off at a conservative tempo, the leading contenders happy to coast through the opening 5km in 14:20 as Switzerland’s Julien Wanders towed them along out front.

A leading pack of 23 went through 10km in 28:23, and the gears slowly began to shift in the third lap, with Kandie and Ethiopia’s Guye Adola applying some pressure. Kandie stepped the pace up even more as he clicked through 15km in 42:17 and clocked the first sub-14-minute 5km split of the race with 13:54.

It whittled the leading pack to 11 with a lap to go, with Cheptegei passing the bell a few seconds behind Kandie in eighth place. Kandie was soon joined by Kiplimo as they ran uphill and as he saw the gaps open behind to Cheptegei, Kiplimo kept the pressure on, building a 15-metre lead over his teammate.

Kandie, too, began to fall off pace behind the smooth-striding Kiplimo, but with less than 3km to run he clawed his way back to Kiplimo’s shoulder. The pace now was red-hot, Kiplimo surging to 20km in 55:55, a 13:37 5km split giving him a four-second lead over Kandie as he ran downhill towards the coast for the final time.

Kandie refused to lie down, chasing Kiplimo for all he was worth as they neared the finish in a bid to keep the men’s crown in Kenya for the fourth successive championships, following Geoffrey Kamworor’s three straight wins between 2014 and 2018. But he simply couldn’t close down the advantage and he had to make do with silver.

“I feel great, it was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won!” said Kiplimo. “It is hard to explain, because I am full of emotion. Unbelievable. The weather was really good, as were the conditions and course. I'm so grateful for everyone who has supported me.”

Kandie led Kenya to gold in the team event, with Leonard Barsoton’s 59:34 and Benard Kimeli’s 59:42 giving them a cumulative time of 2:58:10. Ethiopia took team silver with 2:58:25, and Uganda bronze with 2:58:39. All three teams finished inside the previous championship record.

(10/17/2020) Views: 390 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Sebastian Coe said on Friday he embraced new track technology that features pacemaking lights, a system used to great effect in two stunning world records last week

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said on Friday he embraced new track technology that features pacemaking lights, a system used to great effect in two stunning world records last week.Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei (men's 10,000m) and Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey (women's 5,000m) blew two longstanding records apart in Valencia.

Both athletics had a team of metronomic pacemakers around them who utilised Wavelight technology -- a trackside visual time guidance system which lights up to indicate the world record pace."You have to innovate, there's no question about that," Coe said in Gdynia, Poland, ahead of Saturday's world half-marathon races. 

While acknowledging there was a balance to be struck, Coe argued that technological advances were paramount in attracting new audiences.

"You need to create a connection and the key connection is understanding.

"Pace lights I have no problem with. Our one-day meetings are about entertainment and I think Wavelight that allow people on television, to understand a little bit more about the incredible talent, the incredible talent, the incredible speeds our competitors are running at actually lends to the type of understanding I want."

Coe also argued that pacemakers had been around for decades, notably citing Roger Bannister's first sub-four-minute mile as a "pace-made event".

(10/16/2020) Views: 273 ⚡AMP
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda says he’s under no pressure to deliver at Saturday’s World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia

Distance running’s triple world record holder Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda says he’s under no pressure to deliver at Saturday’s World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.

Cheptegei said he is not really bothered by the weather and competition in Gdynia, having already achieved what he had planned for from track despite the Covid-19 challenges.

“For me what is important is that I finished my track season well. A debut in the half marathon won’t put much pressure on me,” said Cheptegei, who is proud of having set two world records within seven weeks this year in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres.

The weather in Gdynia will range from between six to 11 degrees on the competition day.

The Ugandan lowered the previous mark of 26:17.53 set by Kenenisa Bekele on August 26, 2005 in Brussels to cement his standing as the new track sensation.

The 24-year-old 10,000m world champion had on August 14 in Monaco wiped out Bekele’s 16-year-old world record over the 5,000m after breaking the five-kilometre world record on the streets of Monaco in February.

In his first track race since the advent of coronavirus early this year, Cheptegei clocked 12:35.35 to beat Bekele’s previous record by two seconds.

Heading into Valencia last week, Cheptegei only had the 18th quickest time over 10,000m with a best in Doha of 26:48.36, over half a minute outside the record.

The Ugandan team to Poland this weekend also has 2018 World Under-20 Championships 10,000m silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo, who also played second fiddle to Cheptegei in last year’s World Cross Country Championships in Uganda’s 1-2 finish.

Kiplimo’s only other half marathon experience is his victory at Kampala Half Marathon in 1:01:53 in November last year.

Others in the Uganda team are Moses Kibet (1:00:59), Victor Kiplagat (1:00:16), Abel Chebet (1:01:41) and Stephen Kissa (1:00:00).

(10/15/2020) Views: 322 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Former Africa Cross Country Champion Leonard Barsoton, banks on team work to take down the Ugandans

Japan-based Leonard Barsoton has said that Kenya will rely on team work to down the challenge of Uganda and Ethiopia at the World Half Marathon Championships this Saturday in Gdynia, Poland.

Kenyan athletes will be heading to the world road race intent on retaining the men’s title currently held  by Geoffrey Kamworor  following his triumph in Valencia, Spain in 2018.

Kamworor won in 1:00:02 ahead of Bahrain’s Abraham Cheroben, who timed 1:00:22 while Eritrea’s Aron Kifle was third in 1:00:31.

This year Kamworor will not be competing but a strong team has been selected by Athletics Kenya and vowed to keep the crown home.

Kibiwott Kandie, fresh from winning Prague Half Marathon, will lead his compatriots Morris Munene, Japan-based Leonard Barsoton, Bernard Kipkorir and Bernard Kimeli in the Gdynia assault.

Nation Sport caught up with the 2014 Africa Cross Country champion Barsoton in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County where he had gone for the mandatory  Covid-19 tests a requirement before their travel.

With the defending champion Kamworor missing in the start list, Barsoton said Kenya’s work was cut out for them particularly considering the threat set by double world record holder in 5,000m and 10,000m Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.

“We shall run as a team. The challenge is that we have been training differently and everyone has his own techniques of reacting but we hope for the best,” he said.

The in-form Cheptegei will lead a Ugandan team that also has Moses Kibet, Jacob Kiplimo, Abel Chebet and Stephen Kissa.Barsoton, whose career has been on the rise since he relocated to Japan in 2012, two years after completing high school, is relishing the challenge.

He has competed in the last three editions of the World Half Marathon Championship and will no doubt be a key plank in Team Kenya’s strategy to keep the men’s crown.

In Valencia, Barsoton finished 12th in a time of 1:01:14, a result he was not happy with but on the positive, learned about his shortcoming. He said he had a problem when he entered the race which he traced to his training and has worked to ensure he was ready for the Poland race.

My training has gone on well and we are ready to travel and meet other competitors after a long wait due to the coronavirus.

“It’s not easy when you are training alone because we are used to group training which pushes you to the limit. I believe since April I have done enough and I will be ready to fight for a podium finish on Saturday,” he said.

(10/12/2020) Views: 294 ⚡AMP
by Bernard Rotich
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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What the fastest runners can learn from Joshua Cheptegei

Joshua Cheptegei made history on Wednesday when he set the 10,000m world record with a 26:11.00 run in Valencia. Cheptegei is arguably the best runner alive, and while he is riding an incredible high right now, it wasn’t long ago that he faced an enormous low after a massive mid-race collapse in 2017. Refusing to let this derail his career, Cheptegei pushed forward, and that is why he made it to where he is today.

While you probably won’t ever come close to Cheptegei’s level, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from his career. If you’re facing disappointments or tough times in running, channel your inner Cheptegei and trust that you’ll eventually climb out of this rut. 

In front of a home crowd at the 2017 World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, Cheptegei, then 20 years old, was on his way to the biggest win of his young career. Cheptegei had led for most of the race, and he had a 50-metre lead on Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor in second place. With less than a kilometre to go and the championship within reach, Cheptegei began to unravel, and he was eventually passed, not just by Kamworor, but by the next 28 runners as well. It was one of the biggest implosions in running history, and Cheptegei went from first place to 30th in the blink of an eye.

Many people would have let this result define them, but not Cheptegei. Later that same year, he ran to a silver medal in the 10,000m at the world championships. In 2018, he won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games, and he ended the year with the 15K world record. The following year, he upped his game once more, first redeeming himself with a win at the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark, then winning 10,000m world championship gold in Doha. His finale for 2019 was another world-record performance, this time in the 10K (although his mark was bettered by Rhonex Kipruto in early 2020). 

Finally, in 2020 — the season that almost didn’t happen because of COVID-19 — Cheptegei had the year of his life, breaking world records in the 5K on the road in February, the 5,000m in August and then the 10,000m on Wednesday. 

Odds are that you won’t have a collapse like Cheptegei did in Kampala in 2017, but even if you do, he’s proof that you can recover from it. Everyone will have slumps in their careers, whether in training or racing or both. But if you believe in your training and trust in your abilities, you’ll eventually leave those troubles behind, replacing them with PBs, race wins and great results.  

(10/12/2020) Views: 225 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei smashed the men's 10,000m world record as Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey broke that of the women's 5,000m in Valencia

Cheptegei, 24, clocked 26 minutes 11.00 seconds to beat Kenenisa Bekele's 15-year-old time by more than six seconds.

Gidey, 22, clocked 14 minutes 6.62 seconds to better the 14mins 11.15secs set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008.

They achieved the feats at the NN Valencia World Record Day, a one-off event taking place in the Spanish city.

"I'm happy," said Gidey, who won 10,000m silver at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. "This has been a long-time dream. It is very big for me."

Bekele's previous world record time of 26mins 17.53secs had been the longest standing men's 10,000m world record in history.

Cheptegei's success marks his fourth world record in 10 months, having broken the 10km road best in December and the 5km road record in February.

At the Monaco Diamond League in August, he broke another of Bekele's world records, beating his 16-year-old mark in the 5,000m by two seconds.

The World Record Day, in which both Cheptegei and Gidey had pacemakers, took place at Valencia's Turia stadium with 400 people present.

(10/07/2020) Views: 220 ⚡AMP
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Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is setting his sights on the 10,000m mark at a special event in Valencia on Wednesday

Less than two months after breaking the 5,000 metres world record, Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei is setting his sights on the 10,000m mark at a special event in Valencia on Wednesday.

Gold medallist in the 10,000 at last year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha, Cheptegei is hoping to beat the 26 minutes, 17.53 set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2005.

Cheptegei, 23, took Ethiopian Bekele’s 5,000m record at the Diamond League in Monaco in August, wiping 1.99 seconds off the 16-year-old mark when he crossed the line in 12:35.36.

His Dutch-based NN Running Team has organised the World Record Day and he will count on pacers who include former Dutch champion Roy Hoornweg as well as Australian Matt Ramsden and Kenyan Nicholas Kipkorir, both world championship finalists in 2019.

Although there will be little support from the largely empty stands, Cheptegei will be helped by Wavelight technology, which flashes lights on the inside of the track to indicate a specific pace.

Cheptegei has already made history over the distance in Valencia, smashing a 10-year 10km world record last December by six seconds, wearing the Nike Zoom Vaporfly shoes which have caused a huge debate in athletics.

“I am very excited to be given the opportunity to target the 10,000m world record,” Cheptegei said last month. “As my performance in Monaco showed, I am in outstanding form, so I would like to make the most of my current shape.

“Kenenisa’s 10,000m world record is one of the toughest in the books, but my training continues to go well and this gives me real confidence I can set another world record.”

(10/06/2020) Views: 221 ⚡AMP
by Reuters
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Run with Paula Radcliffe in the fast 10k virtually

The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships are just a couple of weeks away, and race organizers in Gdynia, Poland, have provided one last challenge ahead of the free virtual mass participation race.

The Fast 10k with Paula Radcliffe is the final test of fitness for participants who plan to run the half-marathon, and they can do it (virtually) alongside one of the best marathoners in history, after whom the challenge is named. 

Radcliffe is an Olympian, a British and European record-holder many times over and the former women’s marathon world record-holder. Her marathon best was only recently beaten by Brigid Kosgei, who lowered Radcliffe’s longstanding record of 2:15:25 at the Chicago Marathon in 2019. In a promotional video for the Gdynia event and her virtual challenge, Radcliffe says the “World Half Marathon Championships have a very special place in my heart.

It was my first world title. I won three World Half Marathon Championships and all of them were extremely special to me.” She won the world half-marathon titles in 2000, 2001 and 2003, the same year she set her marathon world record. 

This is the last of the virtual “warmup events” that have been organized for competitors by the Gdynia 2020 team. There was also a one-mile run with World Athletics head Seb Coe and a 5K with British Olympian Eilish McColgan, among other events. It’s easy to participate. Simply head to the event website, download the Gdynia 2020 tracking app and head off on your 10K challenge in preparation for your virtual half-marathon. 

The mass participation race was cancelled and changed to a virtual format for 2020 due to COVID-19, but the elite race is still set to go ahead. The race has a number of big names ready to run, and it should be an exciting one to watch.

Newly-minted 5,000m world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei will be debuting at the distance in Gdynia, and he will be lining up alongside a strong Canadian team that’s made up of Trevor Hofbauer, Justin Kent, Phil Parrot-Migas, Benjamin Preisner and Thomas Toth. The lone woman heading to Poland to represent Canada is former national half and full marathon record-holder Rachel Cliff. 

For anyone interested in participating in either the The Fast 10k with Paula Radcliffe challenge or the virtual half-marathon, it’s not too late to sign up.

(10/02/2020) Views: 325 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Coach Addy Ruiter on star pupil Cheptegei, he will be the new standard

When Joshua Cheptegei made history to wipe 1.99 seconds from Kenenisa Bekele’s world 5000m record in Monaco in August, it generated an outpouring of ecstasy in a mild-mannered Dutchman situated some 9000 kilometres away in Uganda.

“I’d been following the race by livestream and after he set the record I was leaping around the house, I was very happy,” explains Cheptegei’s coach, Addy Ruiter.

Yet despite the inevitable nerves Ruiter experienced that night, he was also very optimistic.

Some four weeks earlier, Cheptegei completed a track session on a far from standard grass oval track in Kapchorwa which filled his coach with confidence.

“That day, Joshua showed me he was in 12:30 shape (for the 5000m) and at a much higher level than Bekele’s 12:37 (5000m world record),” he said. “Knowing he was that much further ahead of the world record was important because we knew the likely hot conditions he would face in Monaco would slow him down a little.”

Still aged just 23, the world cross country and 10,000m champion appears armed with all the qualities to become the dominant distance runner of his generation.

After taking down Bekele’s world 5000m record his next target is the Ethiopian’s 15-year-old world 10,000m record of 26:17.53 which he will attack on October 7, in Valencia.

Some ten days later the Ugandan sensation will make his eagerly-awaited debut over the 21.1km distance at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 in Poland where he will look to claim his first world road title.

‘Coaching was in my blood’

His potential looks limitless, yet behind every great athlete is always a great coach and there is little doubt the avuncular Ruiter ticks all the boxes as a knowledgeable and innovative foil for the super-talented Cheptegei.

Born and raised in the small city of Papendrecht in western Holland, Ruiter was a handy schoolboy athlete but with a curious nature he was quickly drawn to coaching and recalls guiding a number of runners as a high school student.

“Coaching was in my blood,” he says.

Yet running and coaching back then could not dislodge his passion for travel. With an interest in the world around him and a desire to experience different cultures, he would spend periods of time working to save enough money to visit many far flung parts of the world.

He travelled extensively through Asia, spent prolonged periods in Australia and in total has visited 97 countries around the globe.

The Dutchman re-engaged with running for a short period of time around the age of 30. He trained hard and whittled his 10km personal best down to 30 minutes. Then the travel bug took over once again.

“I was someone with a talent but not enough of a talent to train so for a long period of time,” he adds.

On Gdynia: ‘he is capable of winning’

That next target is the world 10,000m record followed by his half marathon debut in Gdynia. There will be huge expectations around Cheptegei, but Ruiter is slightly cautious.

“It was sad they were forced to postpone the original race back in March because we had enjoyed the perfect preparation,” he says.

“In recent months we have been preparing to run the 5000m and 10,000m world records, so this time it has not been a perfect preparation. But even without an ideal build up he is capable of winning the race.”

In the longer term the priority is the track climaxing with the 2024 Paris Olympics, from which point the road and the marathon will be the main priority and of all surfaces, Ruiter believes the road is the one best suited to the Ugandan.

(09/28/2020) Views: 254 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo lead Ugandan team for World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei and world 3000m leader Jacob Kiplimo are among the athletes selected to represent Uganda at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on 17 October.

Cheptegei, the world cross-country champion, broke the world 5000m record at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco last month with 12:35.36 and is targeting a tilt on the 10,000m mark on 7 October before heading to Poland.

Kiplimo, meanwhile, won the 5000m at the World Athletics Continental Tour meeting in Ostrava with a PB of 12:48.63 and then went on to triumph over 3000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rome in a world-leading 7:26.64, breaking the Ugandan record and becoming the fastest teenager in history for the distance.

Given their exploits on the track in recent months, Cheptegei and Kiplimo will be among the medal favourites when they take to the startline in Gdynia – despite the fact that both men will be making their half marathon debut.

They are joined on the team by 2009 world U20 cross-country bronze medallist Moses Kibet, Stephen Kissa and Abel Chebet.

Juliet Chekwel, who holds the Ugandan records for 10,000m (31:37.99), half marathon (1:09:45) and the marathon (2:23:13), leads the women’s team.

Doreen Chemutai, Doreen Chesang, Rachael Zena Chebet make up the rest of the Ugandan women’s roster.

Ugandan team for Gdynia

Men: Abel Chebet, Joshua Cheptegei, Moses Kibet, Jacob Kiplimo, Stephen Kissa

Women: Juliet Chekwel, Doreen Chemutai, Doreen Chesang, Rachael Zena Chebet

(09/21/2020) Views: 378 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World Half Marathon Championships

World Half Marathon Championships

The first one was first held in 1992. The collaboration with the world half marathon championships allows the Trinidad Alfonso Foundation to continue its strategy of supporting sports events that help to position València as the city of running. It has been the main contributor to the Valencia Marathon and Half Marathon for the past five years. The Spanish Federation...

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Joshua Cheptegei targets world 10,000m record in Valencia

World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei hopes to create another magical moment in his rising career as he plans an assault on the world 10,000m record at the NN Valencia World Record Day on Wednesday 7 October at Turia Stadium in Valencia, Spain.

The one-off event aims to capitalise on the Ugandan’s stunning recent form, which last month saw him lower Kenenisa Bekele’s world 5000m record in Monaco. In Valencia, Joshua will be targeting the stunning mark of 26:17.53 set by Kenenisa in Brussels 15 years ago – the longest standing men’s 10,000m world record in history.

As a further measure of the quality of the world 10,000m record, no athlete other than Bekele has come within five seconds of the time. But following Joshua’s 1.99-second improvement on the Ethiopian’s 5000m mark in Monaco, the Ugandan will be confident he can mount a strong challenge in Valencia.

“I am very excited to be given the opportunity to target the 10,000m world record,” said Cheptegei, whose current personal best for the distance is 26:48.36. “As my performance in Monaco showed, I am in outstanding form, so I would like to make the most of my current shape by attacking the 10,000m world record.

“Kenenisa’s 10,000m world record is one of the toughest in the books, but my training continues to go well and this gives me real confidence I can set another world record. I have many happy memories in Valencia, having set the world 10km road record there last year, so hopefully we can once again create something truly special in Valencia, were running plays such an important role.”

In an attempt to add the 10,000m world record to the 5000m track world record and his current world road records over 5km and 15km, Cheptegei  will be utilising world-class pace making support as well as the innovative Wavelight technology.

Following his world record bid in Valencia, Cheptegei plans to make his debut over the 21.1km distance at the rescheduled World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on 17 October.

(09/03/2020) Views: 195 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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World under-20, 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo has shifted his focus to the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo

After missing out on a chance to represent Kenya at the postponed World U20 championships in Nairobi next year, world under-20 5,000m champion Edward Zakayo is has shifted his focus to the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The Olympics and the U20 championships, both of which were set for last month, were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 5,000m Olympic title has been proved elusive for Kenyan athletes since 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, when John Ngugi won the event.

However, Zakayo, the All Africa Games champion said: “It is a bad feeling after missing out on the world under 20 since I was prepared to win gold and close the junior ranks especially on home soil."

"I missed the world under 18 title in 2017 to Selemon Barega and I was not happy. Even though I have revenged twice, at the world under 20 in Tampere and at the All Africa Games, I was not satisfied at all.” 

Speaking during the Athletics Kenya Food Distribution programme at the Kapsait training camp, the reigning Commonwealth Games 5,000m bronze medalist  added: “The federation should supervise how the 5,000m runners train and help them like the Ugandan federation is helping Joshua Cheptegei (the world record holder over the distance)."

Apart from missing out on the world under 20, Zakayo will be forced to repeat Form Four and he fears this might prove a challenge to his ambitions.

"The national trials will be hard nut to crack. Without making it at the trials, you can’t feature in the national team for Olympics. Last year I missed out on the world championships in Doha, Qatar since despite featuring at the the All Africa Games, there were still trials to Doha,” added Zakayo.

(09/01/2020) Views: 360 ⚡AMP
by Emmanuel Sabuni
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei now eyes 10,000m record

Freshly minted 5,000 meters world record holder Joshua Cheptegei will be looking to smash the 10,000m world record before the Olympics.

However, the Ugandan, 23,  said it will depend on if organisers of Diamond League races and other major events include the 5,000m and 10,000m races.

Cheptegei, who is also the World Cross Country Championships 10km champion, shattered Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old world 5,000m record on Friday last week, setting a new time of 12 minutes and 35.36 seconds during the Diamond League leg in Monaco.

“I would like to improve my 5,000m world record as well as take a shot at the 10,000m world record. I’m in good shape. Let’s hope more long distance events on the track will be organized,” he said.

Bekele, who has since moved to road running, holds the 10,000m world record, having broken it twice - the first time on June 8, 2004 (26:20.31) in Ostrava, Czech Republic and on August 26, 2005 (26:17.53) in Brussels, Belgium.

Cheptegei is alive to the fact that staying healthy is key during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s hard to predict the future since it’s in God’s hands. The best you can do is to strive to remain healthy,”  he said.

The 10,000m race had not been held as a Diamond League event for over five years and World Athletics (WA) scrapped the competition entirely from the Diamond League alongside 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase last year. The longest track race is 3,000m but events that will accommodate 5,000m and 10,000m won’t have them featured on prime time.

Only four events have been lined up in this year’s Diamond League series that have been delayed with some events being scrapped owing to Covid-19.

The next events are in Stockholm, Sweden on August 23; Rome, Italy on September 18 and Doha on September 25.

(08/20/2020) Views: 251 ⚡AMP
by Ayumba Ayodi
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Everything you need to know about Nike’s newly-released plated spikes

Nike has quietly been working on two pairs of spikes that every runner will want to get their hands on – they’re called the Dragonfly and the Air Zoom Victory and were released earlier this summer and have since sold out worldwide. The shoes are lightweight but more padded with the addition of ZoomX foam, the same material first used in the Vaporfly and perfected in subsequent models. 

The Dragonfly is what Mohammed Ahmed wore to break his own Canadian 5,000m record and run one of the fastest times over the distance in history, and what Joshua Cheptegei wore to break the 5,000m world record on Friday. That’s two top-10 5,000m times in the space of one month in this particular pair of shoes. 

How does this compare to Nike’s road shoes?

The Dragonfly shoe seems to be everything that the Vaporfly is on the road. After companies were going more and more minimal for years (with the exception of Hoka) Nike started going maximal. While restrictions will limit how high this spike can go, its softer material and bigger stack height set it apart from the other shoes on the market. 

Before the Dragonfly, spikes had almost no cushioning. Now, with the addition of the full-length plate and a decent amount of ZoomX foam, the shoe will feel plush relative to spikes most middle distance runners are used to. 

While this shoe is more expensive than other spikes on the market, it isn’t shockingly priced. Most runners will spend around C$150 on a pair of good spikes and the Dragonfly sets you back $195 – a price increase but much more affordable than the $330 sticker on the NEXT%. 

Designed for events ranging from the 1,500m to 10,000m, this shoe will be on the feet of many runners through winter 2020 and summer 2021.

The Dragonfly isn’t the only Nike shoe that dropped this summer. The Air Zoom Victory is also built for middle distance running, but this shoe has an air bag and carbon-plate along with ZoomX foam. Slightly more expensive than the Dragonfly (coming in at $230), this shoe can be worn for any event from the 800m through to the 5,000m. 

These shoes are going fast and are currently sold out in almost every size except for men’s 13 and 14. Much like Nike’s road shoes, if runners want to get their hands on these spikes, they’ll need to watch for a re-release date and act quickly. 

(08/18/2020) Views: 251 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Joshua Cheptegei thanks Kenenisa Bekele for inspiring him

Joshua Cheptegei shaved two seconds from Kenenisa Bekele’s world 5000m record in Monaco and here we take a look at their remarkable runs

On crossing the 5000m finish line with a time of 12:35.36 on the clock at the Louis II Stadium in Monaco on Friday night, Joshua Cheptegei smashed a world record which had stood for 16 years, two months, and 14 days.

The Ugandan was aged just seven when Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele stormed to his historic 12:37.35 in Hengelo. Until Friday night, no athlete since had come within five seconds of the mark, with Selemon Barega going closest with his 12:43.02 in Brussels in 2018.

Ahead of the meeting in Monaco, which was the first more traditional style Diamond League event of this pandemic-affected summer, Cheptegei was open about his goal.

“I believe if there is a time to attack the world record, it is this year,” he told the NN Running Team, of which both he and Bekele are a part.

“It is now or never.”

Cheptegei gave his thanks to Bekele for inspiring him, while Bekele – who ran his 26:17.53 world 10,000m record the year after his 5000m mark – offered his congratulations to his younger team-mate.

“I’ve learned that anything is possible, if you have the right mindset and believe,” said Cheptegei. “I really thank Kenenisa so much for inspiring me when I started running.

“He has always been a big inspiration and motivation to me.

“This record is a special moment for me and I like to thank Kenenisa for his inspiration.”

In an Instagram post, Bekele wrote: “I have great memories of running my world record in Hengelo 16 years ago. It is very difficult to run any world record. Congratulations to my teammate Joshua Cheptegei for running a new world record for 5000m tonight in Monaco.”

To which Cheptegei replied: “You are forever my all time role model and idol. Your career inspires me the most. I am forever grateful to emulate and follow your footsteps.”

(08/18/2020) Views: 255 ⚡AMP
by Athletics Weekly
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Lots of fast times in Monaco including a new 5000m world record

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei broke a 16-year-old world record in the 5000m by nearly two seconds, clocking 12:35.36 in Monaco on Friday.

Cheptegei, the 2019 World 10,000m champion who reportedly needed 80 hours to travel from Uganda for the Diamond League meet, took 1.99 seconds off Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele‘s world record from 2004. Bekele is also the 10,000m world-record holder and the second-fastest marathoner in history.

“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,” Cheptegei said, according to organizers. “I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach.”

Cheptegei, 23, came into Monaco as the 73rd-fastest man in history with a personal best of 12:57.41. But he declared before the meet that the world record was his goal, given he had no Olympics or world championships to peak for this year.

“It is very difficult to run any world record,” was posted on the Instagram of Bekele, who is part of the NN Running Team with Cheptegei. “Congratulations to my teammate [Cheptegei].”

The Diamond League next moves to Stockholm on Aug. 23.

In other events Friday, Noah Lyles easily won a 200m after raising a black-gloved first before the start. More on Lyles’ gesture and victory here.

Donavan Brazier extended a year-plus 800m win streak, clocking 1:43.15 and holding off countryman Bryce Hoppel by .08. Brazier won his last seven meets, including national, world and Diamond League titles in 2019, when he broke a 34-year-old American record.

Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega of Spain won the 110m hurdles in 13.11 seconds, overtaking world champion Grant Holloway. Holloway, who won worlds in 13.10 last autumn, finished fourth in 13.19.

Timothy Cheruiyot followed his 2019 World title by clocking his second-fastest 1500m ever. The Kenyan recorded 3:28.45, holding off Norwegian 19-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who set a European record of 3:28.68.

Sifan Hassan, the world’s top female distance runner, dropped out of the 5000m with two and a half laps left while in the lead pack. Two-time world champion Hellen Obiri won in 14:22.12, surging past Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey on the final lap.

Karsten Warholm ran the joint eighth-fastest 400m hurdles in history, a 47.10 against a field that lacked rivals Rai Benjamin and Abderrahman Samba. Warholm, the two-time world champion, ranks second in history with a personal best of 46.92, trailing only American Kevin Young‘s 46.78 from the 1992 Olympics.

American Lynna Irby won her Diamond League debut with a 50.50 in the 400m. Irby, the second-fastest American in 2018, failed to make the 2019 World team. On Friday, she beat Wadeline Jonathas, the top American in 2019.

(08/14/2020) Views: 238 ⚡AMP
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Joshua Cheptegei smashes 5000m world record in Monaco Diamond league

Joshua Cheptege is the new 5000m world record in a time of 12:35:36.He broke kenenisa Bekele record that stood out for 16 years with 2 seconds.He was followed in adistance by Kimeli from kenya 12:51:78 and Krop 13:11:32.

The 5km world record holder of 12:51 was pace by two pacekars making him crossed the first lap 60.00 inside world record.The pacers were lead by 24 years Uganda Kissa who helped him crossed 1000m in 2:31:7 which was almost world record tempo compared to Bekele's 2:33:2.

He looked comfortable maintaining every km in 2:31:3-9.The world record was in severe threat when he maintain every 400m under 61 seconds as he look calm and relaxed.His super running made him run every mile faster than Bekele when he broke world record.

The fastest lap that he ran was 59 seconds making him one of the tactical athlete in the world. .He looked full of energy when crossed the finish  smiling  while stopping the watch.Kimeli managed to run his pb of 12:51.

(08/14/2020) Views: 205 ⚡AMP
by Willie Korir
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Joshua Cheptegei will be eyeing the 5000 meters winner's prize in Monaco when he returns to the Diamond League this weekend

Unlike previous years, the Diamond League 2020 will not be a structured series of events leading to a final. Due to the coronavirus upheaval, only 11 instead of the planned 15 athletics meetings will take place this season.

There are all signs that Lady Luck will again smile at Cheptegei in the same European city-state where he broke 5km road world record early this year.Cheptegei, together with fellow world champion Halima Nakayi (1000m), Winnie Nannyondo (1000m), and Samuel Kisa (5000m) were flagged off by First Lady and Sports Minister Janet Museveni Saturday.

"Please take care to protect yourselves from COVID-19, remember that self-discipline is a big factor in the fight against this virus. God be with you," said Janet Museveni as she handed the athletes the national flag.

The Ugandans were, according to Monaco procedure, first subjected to a mandatory COVID-19 test.

Steeplechase star Conseslus Kipruto from Kenya failed the test and will accordingly miss the Monaco Diamond League event.The Ugandans left on a Uganda Airlines chartered flight to Nairobi on Saturday, then another to Monaco ahead of the August 14 event.

The race organizers of the Monaco event chartered the flights for the 10 Kenyan and four Ugandan athletes.The men's events in Monaco include 200m, 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m, 110m hurdles, 3,000m steeplechase, and pole vault, while women will compete in 100m, 400 m, 1,000m, 5,000m, triple jump and high jump.

Organizers also confirmed that top athletes including women's world record holder, triple jumper Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela, Dutch 1,500m world champion Sifan Hassan, 10,000m world champion Joshua Cheptegei and French hurdler Pascal Martinot-Lagarde will partake of in the events.

On June 26th, the Diamond League canceled its meets in Paris, France, and Eugene, in the United States because of the current restrictions on mass gatherings and international travel due to the coronavirus menace the world over.

Due to the global outbreak of the fatal respiratory disease, the Diamond League season could not start as planned in Doha on April 17.

Meetings have since been canceled in London, Rabat (in Morocco), and Zürich (in Switzerland) which was originally scheduled to host the season finale in September - while other events on the calendar were postponed due to the pandemic.

(08/10/2020) Views: 15,163 ⚡AMP
by James Bakama
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Warholm, Kipyegon, Cheruiyot and Kendricks are set to compete at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on August 14

Herculis organizers have announced another four global champions who are set to compete at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco on August 14.

Two-time world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm will compete in Monaco for the first time in his career. The 24-year-old, who set a world best for 300m hurdles at Oslo’s Impossible Games last month, will have one eye on Kevin Young’s meeting record of 47.60, set just five days after the US hurdler set a world record of 46.78 to win the 1992 Olympic title.

"I've always wanted to run in Monaco because of the track," said Warholm. "I know people have run fast there before, and I've trained there too. It’s a nice stadium and I know I might be able to run even faster on it.

"In Norway we've been able to train very well, so my shape is actually good," he added. "I was hoping to get a chance to test myself, so when the opportunity came for Monaco, that was nice."

Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon and training partner Timothy Cheruiyot, the world 1500m champion, will also be in action. Kipyegon, who’s also making her Herculis debut, will contest the 1000m in which she’ll face world 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi and European 1500m champion Laura Muir. Cheruiyot, meanwhile, will line up for his specialist distance to take on Jacob and Filip Ingebrigtsen.

Two-time world champion Sam Kendricks has been confirmed for the pole vault. The North American record-holder will face world record-holder Mondo Duplantis, whose participation was announced earlier this month.

Other clashes include Olympic silver medalist Orlando Ortega and world bronze medalist Pascal Martinot Lagarde in the 110m hurdles, Ukrainian duo Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Yuliya Levchenko and world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the high jump, and world bronze medalist Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Ajla del Ponte in the 100m.

They will all join the previously announced stars, including double world champion Sifan Hassan, world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri, world 200m champion Noah Lyles, two-time world triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas and world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei.

(07/23/2020) Views: 246 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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