Kenya’s Agnes Jebet Ngetich runs Historic Women’s 10K World Record in Valencia

January 15, 2024

History was witnessed on the 14th of January, on the streets of Valencia after Agnes Ngetich became the first woman ever to run a 10K in under 29 minutes. The world cross country bronze medalist did shed 28 seconds from the previous world record to register an incredible time of 28:46. Also under the previous world record and running under 29 minutes was her compatriot Immaculate Anyango Achol, who ran 28:57 to finish in second place.

“I didn’t expect to run under 29 minutes. All I wanted was to run something around 29:14,” the elated Ngetich told reporters after the race.

To complete the women’s podium was another Kenyan, Lilian Rengeruk, who ran 29:32 ahead of another impressive fourth-placer, Janeth Chepngetich, who ran 29:55.

It was a mixed start, and for the first one or so kilometres, the elite women were hardly separating from the men’s leading pack.

However, after three kilometres, Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo began to pull away from the men’s leading pack, and Kenya’s Dennis Kibet went with him.

At the same time, the women’s leading pack also whittled down to two: Ngetich and Achol. The two women went through the first half of the 10K race at 14:13 and 14:14, respectively. They kept running together up to almost 8km, with Ngetich on the heels of the pacesetter while Achol was on her heels.

At 8 km, Achol began to lose some ground as Ngetich went with the pacesetter. She was safely inside the world record mark, and all that remained was to see how much she would destroy it.

As she approached the finish line, race officials pulled out a tape that had “WORD RECORD” written on it. She cut it and momentarily fell on the ground in exhaustion before being helped to her feet. She hugged some members of her management team in celebration.

Kiplimo dominated the men’s race after a solo run in the second half to win it in an impressive 26:48. Birhanu Balew of Bahrain and Kenya’s Peter Mwaniki appeared to have been finishing strongly as they came in 26:58 and 26:59 for second and third positions. Kibet, who had followed Kiplimo earlier in the race, faded to fourth place in 27:01.

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