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Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi and Ejegayehu Taye shatter 5K world records

On the final day of the year, two world records were broken at Barcelona's Cursa dels Nassos 5K

On the final day of 2021, Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi and Ejegayehu Taye broke the men’s and women’s road 5K world records at the Cursa dels Nassos 5K in Barcelona. Aregawi, who won the Diamond League 5,000m title earlier this season, stormed across the finish line in 12:49 to beat Joshua Cheptegei’s previous record by two seconds.

Taye is an up-and-coming runner out of Ethiopia, who set the Ethiopian 3,000m record of 8:19.52 earlier this year and is the second-fastest woman in the world over 5,000m in 2021. Today, she ran 14:19 over 5K in only her second road race as a professional.

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The women and men started at the same time, therefore Taye was able to use some of the men in the field as pacemakers, winning by 45 seconds over Sweden’s Meraf Bahta (15:04). Taye’s time broke the previous world record by 20 seconds.

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Aregawi got his redemption after coming within one second of the world record last month in Lille, France (12:52). He had a pacemaker for the first kilometre or so, but after that was on his own. Uganda’s Peter Maru was a distant runner-up in 13:30, 38 seconds behind Aregawi.

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Although the course was certified, these records will still have to be reviewed and ratified by World Athletics in the coming months.