Kenyan Beatrice Chebet Smashes Women’s 10,000 Meter World Record

by Gee NY
Beatrice Chebet © Getty Images

Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet shattered the women’s 10,000m world record with a stunning victory in 28 minutes 54.14 seconds at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday, May 25.

According to Super Sports, the 24-year-old, a two-time world championships medallist in the 5,000m and a cross-country world champion, eclipsed the previous record of 29:01.03 set by Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey in Hengelo on June 8, 2021.

Chebet’s performance in the race, which also served as Kenya’s Olympic qualifier, immediately established her as a top contender for gold at the Paris Olympics in August.

Under mild, overcast conditions ideal for the event, Chebet capitalized on enthusiastic crowd support, the assistance of three pacemakers in the first half of the race, and the Hayward Field track’s “wavelight” pace-setting technology to become the first woman to break the 29-minute barrier in the 10,000m.

Although the race, which opened Saturday’s events, was not part of the Diamond League programme, it was billed as a world record attempt by Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay, who had previously shattered the 5,000m world record at Hayward Field during the Diamond League finals last September.

Chebet, who had never competed in a 10,000m race outside of Kenya before, said she did not initially aim for the world record.

“For us, we came for selection for Olympics for 10,000,” she stated.

Aware that Tsegay was targeting the record, Chebet decided to match her pace to see how her body would respond.

Chebet, who secured world 5,000m silver in Eugene in 2022 and bronze in Budapest last year, stayed close to Tsegay for most of the race and made her decisive move on the 22nd of 25 laps, finishing with a powerful final lap.

Tsegay finished second in 29:05.92, the third-fastest time ever recorded.

“When I go for the last two laps, I just get motivated, I say, ‘Let me push the last 400,'” said Chebet, who also holds two cross-country world titles.

Chebet expressed her excitement about targeting a 5,000m-10,000m double at the Paris Olympics.

“For me, I am happy, to be the first time on the Olympic team,” she said. “With good health, I know I am going to medal at the Olympics.”

Kenya’s Lilian Rengeruk finished third in 29:26.89, securing her spot for the Paris Olympics as well.

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