World records were broken in both races at the 10k Valencia Ibercaja on Sunday with Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto smashing the men’s mark with 26:24 and Sheila Chepkirui clocking 29:42 to win the women’s race at the World Athletics Gold Label event. Both records are however subjected to ratification by World Athletics.
Kipruto’s half-way split of 13:18 was also an improvement on the 5km world record. His second half of 13:06 was even faster, although would not be eligible for ratification.
“I’m over the moon,” said an ecstatic Kipruto, who is coached by Colm O’Connell.
“When I clocked 26:46 in Prague in 2018, I set myself the target of breaking the world 10km record and today my dream came true.
“ I’m very thankful to the organisers for relying on me to set the record and to the city and the people of Valencia for treating me so well and for their support throughout the race,” gushed Kipruto to hordes of journalists at the event.
The world 10,000m bronze medallist, still aged just 20, took 14 seconds off the yet-to-be-ratified mark set just six weeks ago by Joshua Cheptegei in the same city, albeit on a different course.
Kipruto’s fellow Kenyan Benard Kimeli finished second in 27:12, just ahead of Switzerland’s Julien Wanders, who set a European record of 27:13.
Chepkirui, meanwhile, was one of three women to finish inside 30 minutes – the first time that has happened in any road race – as the Kenyan crossed the line in 29:42. Her performance takes one second off Joyciline Jepkosgei’s world record set in Prague in 2017.
Rosemary Wanjiru and steeplechase specialist Norah Jeruto were second and third respectively, both clocking 29:46 to move to equal third on the world all-time list.
1 Rhonex Kipruto (KEN) 26:24
2 Benard Kimeli (KEN) 27:12
3 Julien Wanders (SUI) 27:13
1 Sheila Chepkirui (KEN) 29:42
2 Rosemary Wanjiru (KEN) 29:46
3 Norah Jeruto (KEN) 29:46