ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey demolished the women’s 5,000 metres world record by more than four seconds on Wednesday at the Valencia World Record Day, crossing the line in 14 minutes 6.62 seconds.
The Spanish city of Valencia had never seen an outdoor world record on the track before Wednesday night.
But, within the space of 50 minutes, it witnessed not one but two, as athlete Letesenbet and Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei went into new territory.
Letesenbet was the first to go into the annals of athletics history with a stunning 5000m run of 14:06.62 to take more than four seconds off the mark of 14:11.15 by her compatriot and idol Tirunesh Dibaba which had stood since 2008.
Just a few minutes after she had crossed the line, the gun sounded for the start of the 10,000m and Cheptegei reeled off 25 laps in an average of less than 63 seconds apiece to stop the clock in 26:11.00.
Letesenbet became the third successive Ethiopian to hold the 5000m world record following Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba.
“I have been dreaming about this (setting a world record) for six years,” she told reporters.
Featured Image: Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey celebrates winning