Joshua Chepetegei a while back in Monaco, photo by Etienne Fiacre, credits :NNrunningteam
Joshua Cheptegei’s world record attempt at the Ostrava continental tour meeting only served to show how incredible Daniel Komen’s 3000m record of 7:20.67 is.
Last year, Cheptegei broke two long standing world records for the 5,000m and 10,000m distances. With such a reputation, there was no doubt he had a chance at breaking another long standing 3000m world record. When he said he was ready to run a fast 3000m in Ostrava, the world listened.
With a few technological advancements since the last record, for example, the use of wave lights on the track to help the pace-setters, the circumstances looked more favorable for Cheptegei than it was for Komen.
It was a stunning race to watch as Cheptegei tucked behind the two pace setters, and Paul Chelimo hanging behind him before beginning to lose some ground. But, as they approached the 2000m point, the wave lights started opening up some gap ahead of Cheptegei who was soon to struggle alone in the remaining 1000m. He crossed the finish line in a world leading time of 7:33.24. Paul Chelimo and Oscar Chelimo followed for second and third positions in 7:41:69 and 7:43:00 respectively.
For now, conversations in running circles, and training groups continue to shape up as to whether anyone will ever get to break Komen’s record set in 1996. A record, Komen had made a big promise to whoever breaks it.