Yalemzerf Yehualaw Breaks 10km World Record In Castellon 

Yalemzerf Yehualaw Breaks 10km World Record In Castellon

Yalemzerf Yehualaw, a rising Ethiopian star, set a new world 10km record at the Castellón 10K on Sunday, clocking 29:14 in the World Athletics Label road race held in the Spanish seaside city.

In doing so, the global half marathon bronze medalist beat Joyciline Jepkosgei’s recognized record of 29:43 and Bahrain’s Kalkidan Gezahegne’s yet-to-be-ratified mark of 29:38 established last year. She also breaks the 29:30 and 29:20 boundaries on the roads for the first time in history.

It was a vindication of sorts for Yehualaw, who for various reasons had missed out on potential world records in recent months. In August last year, she clocked 1:03:44 for a half marathon in Larne, which would have been a world record, but the course was found to be 54 metres short. Two months later she replicated that form with a 1:03:51 clocking in Valencia – which would have also been a world record, were it not for the fact that Letesenbet Gidey finished ahead of her in a world record of 1:02:52.

Yehualaw had planned to break the world record at the 10K Valencia at the beginning of January, but she was ruled out due to a positive Covid test. But, after all of her previous near-misses, she was finally able to enjoy a disruption-free preparation for today’s race in Castellon, and she didn’t want to lose the chance.

Yehualaw set off at a fast pace in perfect weather conditions (12C and no wind), with pacing support from Dutch distance runner Richard Douma. The first kilometer was completed in 2:51, followed by splits of 2:52 and 2:53. Yehualaw was on track for a sub-29-minute finish after 3 kilometers, which he completed in 8:36. Yalemzerf Yehualaw breaks 10km World Record in Castellon, Spain.

She ran the first half in 14:28, one of the fastest 5km times in history, and was still under 29 minutes per mile. The Ethiopian’s pace slowed slightly in the second half, with her seventh kilometer clocking in at 3:00, but a final kilometer of 2:52 (and the second half of 14:46) was enough to propel her to a 29:14 finish.

For 10,000m on the track, only two women have bettered Yehualaw’s time: her compatriot Letesenbet Gidey (29:01:03) and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands (29:06.82).

Further back, Kenya’s Vicoty Chepngeno, who last month won the Houston Half Marathon in a big PB of 1:05:03, finished second in 30:14, while 2013 world 5000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono completed the podium in 30:48.

“It was hard for me not to be able to compete in Valencia in January but I resumed my training and faced today’s race very optimistically,” said Yehualaw, whose idols include Haile Gebrselassie and Meseret Defar. “I knew I had the world record in my legs and wanted to produce a challenging performance for any athletes who may attempt the record in the near future.

“I’ll likely do a half marathon in the coming months,” added Yehualaw, who is coached by Tessema Abshero. “I won’t focus on the track season because I probably wouldn’t challenge for a place on Ethiopia’s 10,000m team for the World Championships. Instead, I plan to tackle the marathon later in the year and the World Half Marathon Championships in Yangzhou in November.”

By World Athletics

Leading Results

1 Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) 29:14
2 Vicoty Chepngeno (KEN) 30:14
3 Mercy Cherono (KEN) 30:48
4 Naomi Chepngeno (KEN) 31:33
5 Valentine Jebet (KEN) 32:51

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  1. Ibrahim, I’m proud of you. I pray you reach where ever you want to 🙏🏽🤲🏽📿 I hope to see you…

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