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Letesenbet Gidey’s new world record of 29:01.03 in the 10,000m event came just two days after Sifan Hassan’s world record performance of 29:06.82. Both athletes are from Ethiopia, however, Hassan represents the Netherlands.
To put into perspective just how fast the new record is (in comparison to its previous trajectory), Almaz Ayana had the world record of 29:17.45 set during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. When she ran that time, she answered performance-enhancing drug allegations with, “God is my only drug.”
When Ayana took the record, it was 23 years after Wang Junxia set it at 29:31.78 in Beijing. Junxia was a member of Ma’s Army, a Chinese camp that was later admittedly doped. No one had come close until that Rio race, when Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN, 29:32.53), Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH, 29:42.56), and Alice Nawowuna (ETH, 29:53.51) as well as Ayana, also Ethiopian, had clocked the fastest times in one of the deepest Olympic races in history.
WORLD RECORD!— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) June 8, 2021
Letesenbet Gidey breaks Sifan Hassan’s two-day-old 10,000m world record with 29:01.03. pic.twitter.com/DJIxauju2L
It took Hassan four years to get within striking distance of those times with her Hengelo performance in 2020 of 29:36.67. Now those numbers are dropping like flies. Hassan’s week-old record was pending ratification when it was broken. Kalkidan Geahegne of Bahrain and Gidey have had two similar performances from May on the books 29:50.77 and 29:39.42, respectively.
Super shoes and COVID-limited drug testing…
World Athletics points performance rating for Gidey's record is 1303 pts. Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda owns the men's world record at 26:11.00 at 1306 points, which he ran in Valencia in Oct, 2020. Eliud Kipchoge's marathon world record of 2:01:39 is rated at 1313. Fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei owns the marathon world record of 2:14:04 at 1295 points. Expect that time to come down in the autumn. When Cheptegei took Kenenisa Bekele's world record of 26:17.53 it was 15 years old. Bekele had six of the top-20 performances all time and Haile Gebrselassie had five of them. The only athletes to come close after 2010 were Lucas Rotich of Kenya with his 26:43.98 from Brussels 2011, American Galen Rupp running a 26:44.36 in Eugene in 2014 as well as Jacob Kiplimo with his 26:33.93 in Ostrava 2021, which is currently the 12th fastest time in history. With the advent of super shoes and drug testing limited due to COVID-19 protocols, expect records to continue to fall this summer and into autumn. With Kenya on the World Anti-Doping Agency watch list due to a tremendous spike in suspensions, expect Ethiopia to continue to re-write the record books, as they are currently doing. Will Morrocan Hicham El Guerrouj's 1500m world record tumble this summer? It has stood since 1998 at 3:26.00 and at 1302 points. Expect Kibiwott Kandie's half-marathon world record of 57:32 to drop this autumn too. It stands at 1298 points. The advent of a competive super shoe market, has manifested more-so with road running than track at this time; currently Nike continues to own the track spike market, for now. Shoes will continue to drive performances. Expect Ruth Chepngetich's half-marathon record (1298 pts) of 1:04:02 to also drop in the autmn. In the quest to breach numerical benchmarks expect the women's marathon to go sub-2:14, half-marathon sub-64, 10,000m to sub-29 and the women's 5000m to approach sub-14-minutes, which is currently held by Gidey at 14:06.62. Surprisingly, alleged Czech doper Jarmila Kratochvilova's 800m world record of 1:53.28 from 1983 is rated at just 1286 points. Is a 1:52 pending? Will super spikes assist in an athlete taking down Kenyan David Rudisha's 800m world record of 1:40.91 and perhaps get it under the 1:40 benchmark? A 56-minute half-marathon, 25-minute 10,000m and ultimately a sub-two hour marathon will be approached, perhaps not this summer or autumn, but soon. The attempts however, will be made, which will make for an exciting summer, Olympic Games and end to 2021; buckle up.