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Ngetich starts 2024 season with a 10km World Record

 Agnes Ngetich – the women’s 10km world record breaker celerates.[World AThletics]

If persistence was an athlete, her name would be Agnes Ngetich – the women’s 10km world record breaker.

The World Cross country bronze medallist on Sunday shattered the women’s 10km World Record after two failed attempts last year.

Last September, Ngetich crossed the finish line in Brasov in a women’s 10km record with a time of 29:24 but the mark was not ratified after it was discovered that the course was 25 metres short.

She was celebrated in her home county, Elgeyo Marakwet, following the 2023 achievement but fans were later disappointed after the record was not ratified.

And on Sunday, she cruised to an astonishing 28:46 World Record at the 10km Valencia Ibercaja in Spain, a World Athletics Label road race, chipping off a massive 28 seconds off the previous record held by Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw. The Ethiopian set the record two years ago in Castellon

In the second attempt, Ngetich came close to the World Record at the Lille 10km in November in France, finishing the race in a time of 29:26.

The 29:26 was the second fastest time in the women’s 10km, and becomes the third in history.

The performance in Lille was recorded as the fastest women’s-only achievement of all time.

Emmaculate Anyango, who finished second at the 10km Valencia Ibercaje yesterday had also came in second behind Ngetich at the Lille showpiece.

Aged 22, Ngetich proved that she was destined for long distance greatness.

Her historic feat makes her the first woman to break the 29 minutes barrier in the women’s 10km road racing.

Ngetich for the distance, improving by 28 seconds the previous road mixed race world record set by Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw in Castellon two years ago.

She was paced in the Spanish coastal city by her compatriot Japheth Kipkemboi Kosgei and the first world record fell at half way as Ngetich went through the 5km checkpoint in 14:13.

That is six seconds faster than the women’s world record achieved in a mixed race, set by Ethiopia’s Ejgayehu Taye in Barcelona in 2021, and matches the time Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet set in a woman-only race in Barcelona a fortnight ago.

Ngetich’s 10km time is also faster than the women's world record for the distance on the track, with Letesenbet Gidey’s world 10,000m record standing at 29:01.03.

Second-placed Anyango also dipped under 29 minutes in Valencia, clocking 28:57 to finish runner-up to her compatriot Ngetich.

"I am so happy. I didn't expect this world record," said Ngetich.

After the stunning World Record, Ngetich is training her sights on the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Belgrade 24 in March and then the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where athletics will be the number one sport in August.

The men’s race was won by men’s half marathon record holder, Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo in 26:48.

From the onset, Kiplimo was tipped for another record in the distance, in Sunday’s contest.

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