FILE PHOTO: Athletics – World Athletics Championships – Doha 2019 – Men’s 10,000 Metres Final – Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar – October 6, 2019. Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei celebrates winning gold. REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel/File Photo
VALENCIA, Spain (Reuters) – Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei set a new 10km road world record in Valencia on Sunday, closing out his season in style by eclipsing the previous benchmark set by Kenyan Leonard Komon.
The current 10,000m world champion, who won the IAAF World Cross Championships earlier this year in Denmark, clocked 26 minutes 38 seconds, improving Komon’s 2010 mark by six seconds, at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso.
“What a year it has been. I can’t believe it,” the 23-year-old said after completing the memorable 2019 hat-trick.
“I knew that Valencia was going to be a really fast course, one of the fastest in the world. So to get to achieve what we came here for is something really special.
“This year has made me so happy.”
Cheptegei reached the halfway mark in 13:23 and the world record appeared within his grasps when he reached eight km in 21:37.
He covered the final kilometer in 2:45.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Frances Kerry