Middle-distance runner Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia and long-distance runners Beatrice Chepkoech and Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya had their world records ratified by World Athletics, the world track-and-field organizing body, on Friday.
On February 9, Tsegay clocked 3:53.09 at a women’s indoor 1,500-meter race, breaking the world record set by her compatriot Genzebe Dibaba (3:55.17).
It took Tsegay 58.97, 2:05.94 and 2:37.36 to finish the first 400, 800 and 1,000 meters of the race respectively. She completed the last lap in 30 seconds before smashing Dibaba’s record by almost two seconds.
“I have been training really hard and I set myself a target to break the world indoor record. I had this record in my mind for a long time – maybe six or seven years,” said Tsegay.
Chepkoech was already the world record holder of women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase (8:44.32) and she added another top accolade to her list after finishing the women’s 5-kilometer race at the Monaco Run on February 14 in 14:43.
The women’s 5km race was only introduced as a world record event in November 2017. With road running growing in popularity in recent years, the world record of the event was being refreshed continuously. Before Chepkoech, the honor belonged to Ethiopian-born Dutch runner Sifan Hassan (14:44).
“I’m so happy because I didn’t expect it. It was cold and there was a lot of wind, but I tried to follow my pacemaker and everything was perfect,” said Chepkoech.
When Kandie clocked 57:32 at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP Half Marathon on December 6 2020, not only did he break the world record for the event but also became the first man to finish a half marathon under 58 minutes.
The leading group reached 3km, 5km, 10km and 15km at 8:05, 13:37 and 41:10 respectively. Kandie was still trailing behind Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda before the last 900 meters. However, Kandie reversed the situation and remained in control in the last 500m stretch before breaking Geoffrey Kamworor’s record of 58:01.
Jacob Kiplimo, Rhonex Kipruto, and Alexander Mutiso broke that record as well in the same race.
“I can’t believe it, I have beaten Kamworor’s world record by half a minute. Today is a great day for me and also for Kenya,” said Kandie.