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Joshua Cheptegei to run 3,000m world record attempt on Wednesday

With four world records to his name already, Cheptegei is looking to add a fifth

Photo by: Instagram/joshuacheptegei

Joshua Cheptegei will race the 3,000m at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet on Wednesday in the Czech Republic, and according to a report from LetsRun.com, he has his eyes on Daniel Komen‘s world record of 7:20.67. Cheptegei set the 5K, 5,000m and 10,000m world records in 2020, which added to his 15K world best from 2018, and he is now looking to add a fifth to his resume. If he can beat Komen’s result, Cheptegei will become just the third man to hold the 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m world records at the same time. 

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Komen’s record has stood for more than 24 years. The next-fastest time in history belongs to Hicham El Guerrouj, who ran 7:23.09 in 1999, producing an incredible time that was still seconds off Komen’s 7:20.67. The closest Kenenisa Bekele (whose 5,000m and 10,000m PBs were the world records that Cheptegei beat last year) ever got to Komen’s time was 7:25.79.

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It’s going to take a lot, both physically and mentally, for Cheptegei to beat the world record, and while his agent, Jurrie van der Velden, acknowledged just how high Komen set the bar, he told LetsRun that the team is confident in Cheptegei’s abilities. Even so, van der Velden noted that this record will likely be the toughest one for Cheptegei to beat so far. 

Cheptegei is much more comfortable in longer races like the 5,000m and 10,000m, and he has only raced the shorter 3,000m on five occasions, as listed on his World Athletics profile. His PB of 7:33.26 is a whopping 13 seconds slower than Komen’s world record, but that came in 2019, and Cheptegei hasn’t raced a 3,000m in in two years. To beat the record, he will have to average 2:27 per kilometre for the entire race, and that would only just get him under Komen’s time. (Cheptegei ran a full four seconds slower per kilometre in his 3,000m PB performance.)

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Helping Cheptegei in his world record chase will be Australian 3,000m record holder Stewart McSweyn, who owns a PB of 7:28.02. Cheptegei will also get constant feedback on where he stands relative to the record thanks to pacing lights that will run along the track throughout the race (a system used in both of Cheptegei’s world records on the track last year).

For anyone interested in tuning into the record attempt, World Athletics will reportedly broadcast Cheptegei’s race (along with the other Ostrava Golden Spike events) live on YouTube

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