Kenya’s Agnes Ngetich shatters World 10km Record in Valencia


In a stunning display of athletic prowess, Kenya’s Agnes Ngetich set a new world record in the women’s 10km at the 10K Valencia Ibercaja, a World Athletics Label road race, with an astonishing time of 28:46.

This historic run on Sunday saw Ngetich become the first woman to ever break the 29-minute barrier in the 10km distance, eclipsing the previous mixed race record by a remarkable 28 seconds.

The 22-year-old’s performance in Valencia, Spain, marks a significant milestone in long-distance running. The previous record, held by Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw, was set two years ago in Castellon.

In a thrilling race, Ngetich was closely followed by her compatriot Emmaculate Anyango, who also finished under the 29-minute mark with a time of 28:57, making it a memorable day for Kenyan athletics.

Ngetich’s half-way mark was a clear indicator of the record-breaking performance that was unfolding.

She went through the 5km checkpoint in 14:13, which is not only faster than the women’s mixed race world record set by Ethiopia’s Ejgayehu Taye in Barcelona in 2021 but also matches the woman-only race record set by Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet.

Remarkably, Ngetich’s 10km time is also quicker than the women’s world record for the distance on the track, which stands at 29:01.03 by Letesenbet Gidey.

The race began at a blistering pace, with Ngetich, Anyango, and world 5km silver medallist Lilian Rengeruk breaking away early. By the 3km point, they were timed at 8:29, maintaining a high cadence throughout the first half of the race.

Although the pace slightly dropped in the second half due to a headwind, Ngetich’s performance remained unmatched.

Ngetich’s journey to this record has been marked by perseverance and sheer talent. She had previously clocked 29:24 in Brasov, but the course was later found to be short. Undeterred, she focused on the Valencia event, resulting in this world record.

The depth of talent in the race was further illustrated by the fact that two more Kenyans, Rengeruk and Janeth Chepngetich, completed sub-30:00 performances. British athlete Jessica Warner-Judd, though unable to maintain her initial pace, still achieved a personal best of 30:41.

An ecstatic Ngetich expressed her feelings post-race, saying, “Honestly, my clear goal was to break the world record but 28:46 is beyond any expectations. When I saw 14:13 by halfway, I didn’t scare, it just motivated me a lot to keep on pushing until the end.”

With this record in the bag, Ngetich’s focus now shifts to the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Belgrade and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Her astonishing achievement in Valencia not only sets a new benchmark in women’s long-distance running but also serves as an inspiration to athletes worldwide.

Leading results

1 Agnes Ngetich (KEN) 28:46
2 Emmaculate Anyango (KEN) 28:57
3 Lilian Rengeruk (KEN) 29:32
4 Janeth Chepngetich (KEN) 29:55
5 Joy Cheptoyek (UGA) 30:03
6 Loice Chemnung (KEN) 30:08
7 Cintia Chepngeno (KEN) 30:08
8 Irine Cheptai (KEN) 30:17
9 Fotyen Tesfay Hailu (ETH) 30:20
10 Sarah Chelangat (UGA) 30:26

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