Kenyans break record in Prague race

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Kenya's Geoffrey Koech winning the Birell Prague 10km race on September 7, 2019. PHOTO | IAAF |
Kenya’s Geoffrey Koech winning the Birell Prague 10km race on September 7, 2019. PHOTO | IAAF |

Once again, the all-time 10km lists underwent major revision at the Birell Prague 10km, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Saturday.

In the women’s race, both winner Sheila Chepkirui (Kenyan )and runner-up Dorcas Kimeli(Kenyan), who finished just half a step behind, were credited with 29:57 performances to become just the second and third women to cover the distance in under 30 minutes.

Only their Kenyan compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei, who set the 29:43 world record on this same course in 2017, has run faster.

In the men’s race, Geoffrey Koech fought off Mathew Kimeli in the waning stages to reach the finish line in a world-leading 27:02, equalling the legendary Haile Gebrselassie as the fourth fastest man ever. Kimeli clocked 27:07, to move up to No. 7 all-time.

The women were off to a blazing start, with Chepkirui, Kimeli and Norah Jeruto, better known as a standout steeplechase, reaching the midway point in 14:46, a pending world record, with Fancy Chemutai another second back.

That group was soon winnowed down to just Chepkirui and Kimeli who fought it out until the closing metres when Chepkirui finally prevailed by about half a second.

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