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Beatrice Chebet, the smiling assassin

Athletics
 Kenya's Beatrice Chebet wins the women's 10,000m with a world record during the Wanda Diamond League Prefontaine Classic on Saturday. [AFP]

Eugene Diamond League presented two-time World Cross Country champion Beatrice Chebet with another perfect opportunity to ooze class.

Chebet stamped authority at the Saturday night Prefontaine Classic, shattering the women’s 10,000m World Record in style.

She set the new mark at 28:54.14 overpowering Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay, a 5,000m Olympic bronze medallist in the 25-lap showdown, which became the Prefontaine Classic race of the night. Tsegay finished second.

Chebet smashed the previous 29:01.03 set by Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey in Hengelo in 2021 and became the first woman to dip under 28 minutes in 10,000m.

Just after the Prefontaine Classic finish, Chebet hugged Tsegay but could not believe it when she saw a new world record flashing on the scoreboard behind them.

The 24-year-old athlete now joins the list of track queens led by two-time Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, who holds 1500m and Mile records and steeplechaser Beatrice Chepkoech, among others.

She ended last year by running 14:13 to smash the women’s world 5km record at the Cursa dels Nassos, a World Athletics Label road race, in Barcelona on December 31.

Athletics Kenya (AK) had elected the Prefontaine Classic as their Olympic Trials race for the 10,000m after the country’s major stadiums were closed for upgrades.

And Chebet seized the moment with glee. The World 5,000m silver medallist stepped into the lead in the final 1,000m and sustained the momentum to cross the finishing mark in a stunning World Record.

"We did not come for a world record, but I am happy it has happened. For us, Kenya, we came for Trials for Paris," Chebet said.

"When I saw Gudaf drop a bit I decided to push to see how it goes."

Tsegay was followed by World Road Running 5km silver medallist Lilian Rengeruk who timed 29:26.89 to secure her second slot in Team Kenya.

Africa’s fastest 100m sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala meanwhile, made a return to the podium after months of not-so-impressive shows.

Omanyala clocked 9.98 to finish second behind American Christian Coleman (9.95).

Reigning World Champion Mary Moraa placed second in her 800m specialty, narrowly missing an opportunity for her signature dance.

Moraa ran a 1:56.71 season best in the Prefontaine Classic contest.

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