Rhonex Kipruto breaks 10K world record

He took 14 seconds off the previous world best set just six weeks ago.

Just six weeks after Joshua Cheptegei broke the 10K world record on the roads, Rhonex Kipruto shattered new mark when the 20-year-old Kenyan won the 10K Valencia Ibercaja in 26:24 on Sunday in Valencia, Spain.

Pending ratification, Kipruto’s performance was 14 seconds faster than Cheptegei’s mark, which also hasn’t been ratified yet, according to World Athletics. Both victories took place in Valencia but on different courses.

In addition to being the fastest 10K runner on the roads, Kipruto is now the third fastest athlete all-time. Only Kenenisa Bekele (26:17) and Haile Gebrselassie (26:22) have run faster on the track.

The race was dominated by Kipruto early as pacemakers led the top group through 4K, with Kipruto running ahead of the competition. Kipruto blazed through the first 5K in 13:18, which also broke the 5K world record.

With no challengers close to him, Kipruto continued to increase the pace for the second half of the competition. He covered the next 5K in an even faster 13:06, but according to World Athletics, the mark is not eligible for ratification.

Kenyan Benard Kimeli finished second in 27:12, and Swiss athlete Julien Wanders closed for third in 27:13.

“I’m over the moon,” Kipruto told World Athletics. “When I clocked 26:46 in Prague in 2018, I set myself the target of breaking the world 10K record and today my dream came true.”

Since winning Prague in 2018, Kipruto has become one of the youngest athletes ever to earn a 10K podium spot at a world championship. In October, he finished third in the 10,000 meters at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Cheptegei won gold less than a second ahead of runner-up Yomif Kejelcha and two seconds ahead of Kipruto.

The world record was nearly broken in the women’s race as well. Sheila Chepkirui crossed the line in 29:46, but her time was initially reported as 29:42, which would have beaten the previous record by one second. Ultimately, her official time came out to 29:46, and that improved on her previous personal best by 11 seconds and strengthened her position as the second-fastest woman to ever run the 10K on the roads. Only Joyciline Jepkosgei (29:43) has run faster.

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