Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei has left the athletics world in a frenzy with an astonishing new world record at a race meet in Spain.
Cheptegei smashed the long-standing men's 10,000m world record by six seconds on Wednesday at the Valencia World Record Day.
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The African runner crossed the finish line in a stunning 26 minutes 11.02 seconds to better the previous world record that had stood for 15 years.
The 24-year-old Cheptegei's time shattered Ethiopian runner Kenenisa Bekele's previous world's best mark of 26:17.53 that he set back in 2005.
Cheptegei came during a special event in a near-empty Turia stadium in Valencia as only 400 people including sponsors, journalists and staff were allowed in because of COVID-19 protocols.
A breakdown of the Ugandan's splits during the 10,000m event showed just how remarkable his run truly was, with Cheptegei averaging under 16 seconds per hundred metres for the entirety of the race.
The extraordinary achievement left the athletics world gobsmacked on social media.
Joshua Cheptegei’s 10,000m World Record Splits— Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavez) October 7, 2020
*pacer drops out and he’s solo after*
The miracle here was the consistency of pacing. Truly incredible.— Enlightened Hero (@HeroEnlightened) October 7, 2020
Here in Uganda we are blessed to have a talented person like you , you have made our country to shine like gold— joseph victor lowess (@jovika9) October 7, 2020
That's insane, 👏👏— Erik Truedson 🌹 (@eriktruedson) October 7, 2020
Joshua Cheptegei. What a man! A 15 year old record broken. Congratulations. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽— NBS Television (@nbstv) October 7, 2020
Is it high time we gave athletics the recognition it deserves here in Uganda? #HomeOfSports #NBSUpdates
Courtesy photo pic.twitter.com/AcWVjDEmOK
This guy is the true GOAT— Eng. Muheki (@wmuheki) October 7, 2020
Another record falls on eventful day
The achievement capped an outstanding 12 months for Cheptegei.
He won the gold medal in the 10,000 at last year's World Championships in Doha and in August took Bekele's 5,000m record at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco which stood for 16 years by running 12:35.36.
Last December, also in Valencia, Cheptegei smashed a decade-long record in 10km road racing by six seconds.
Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey earlier shattered the long-standing women's 5,000m world record of her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba by running 14:06.62.
The 22-year-old Gidey, an excellent cross country runner and 10,000m world silver medalist, was relaxed throughout her specially organised time trial to take nearly five seconds off Dibaba's best mark from 11 years ago.
Dibaba is a three-time Olympic champion and widely considered one of the best runners of all-time.
The event was organised by Cheptegei's NN Running Team of the Netherlands and he and Gidey were helped to the finish line by pacers as well as Wavelight technology, which flashes lights on the inside of the track to indicate a specific pace.
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