Astonishing 10 world records smashed by Kenyans
A record-breaking success, result, or performance is one that beats the previous best success, result, or performance.
Kenya has been a darling to the world when it comes to smashing records or setting new ones especially in the world of athletics.
Game Yetu will take you through the memory lane and remind you of some Kenyans who dazzled the universe with exceptional performances that will remain stuck in our memories.
1). Eliud Kipchoge (Berlin 2018)
Eliud Kipchoge is considered one of the greatest marathoners ever.
For years, the only thing that was missing from Kipchoge’s marathon resume was the world record. In an astonishing performance at the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon (September 16), he took the race into a new stratosphere by clocking 2:01:39 — the first man ever under 2:02, and a full 78 seconds faster than Dennis Kimetto’s 2:02:57 mark that had stood since 2014. Berlin was his 10th victory in 11 marathons run in just five years!
Simply put, Kipchoge’s performance was one of the greatest achievements in world history.
2). Beatrice Chepkoech (Monaco 2018)
In July 2018, Beatrice Chepkoech produced the crowning performance of the tenth IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season as she took more than eight seconds off the women’s world 3000m steeplechase record in 8:44.32.
That obliterated the mark of 8:52.78 set by Ruth Jebet of Bahrain in winning at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris in 2016, and the 8:58.78 set in Eugene 2017 by her compatriot Celliphine Chespol.
Chepkoech was clear of the field with three laps remaining as the rising tone of the commentary highlighted the growing possibility of a monumental performance that was duly delivered.
3). Joyciline Jepkosgei (Valencia 2017)
Joyciline Jepkosgei kept her stellar 2017 momentum alive as she broke yet another record at the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso Half Marathon in October. Jepkosgei chopped a second off her own world record to win in 1:04:51.
Going to the race, the phenomenon Jepkosgei said she had been training well since running a world 10km record of 29:43 in Prague in September 2017 where she became the first woman to break 30 minutes for a road 10K and expected to run a fast race.
4). Mary Keitany (London 2017)
A sensational Mary Keitany took 41 seconds off the women’s-only world record at the Virgin Money London Marathon, running 2:17:01 at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race in April 2017.
Keitany had said in the build-up that she was in shape to break Paula Radcliffe’s mark of 2:17:42 and while she demurred when asked about the possibility of bettering Radcliffe’s outright mark of 2:15:25, Keitany was running minutes inside Radcliffe’s schedule in the first half.
5). Peres Jepchirchir (RAK 2017)
Peres Jepchirchir broke the world record in the women's half marathon in February 2017, clocking 1:05:06 at the RAK Half Marathon in Ras al-Khaimah, UAE.
Jepchirchir, who won the world title over the distance in 2016, knocked three seconds from the previous record set by her compatriot Florence Kiplagat in Barcelona two years ago.
Jepchirchir was part of a seven-woman group during the early stages, passing the five-kilometre mark in 15:40.
By 10km, reached in 31:07, Jepchirchir and three-time RAK champion Mary Keitany had opened up a gap of 10 seconds on their pursuers as Olympic marathon champion Jemima Sumgong, multiple world and Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba and world marathon silver medallist Helah Kiprop ran as a trio.
6). Florence Kiplagat (Barcelona 2015)
Competing in the same race in which she broke the world record in 2014, Florence Kiplagat improved on her own half-marathon mark at the Mitja Marató de Barcelona in February 2015.
Her winning time of 1:05:09 shaved three seconds off her previous world record. She also set world records for 15km and 20km en route to her winning performance.
In contrast to the wind and rain battering much of the rest of Spain, Kiplagat's bid to improve her record on the fast and flat course in the Catalan city benefited hugely by almost perfect conditions, with slightly overcast skies and temperatures hovering about 10 degrees Celsius.
7). Dennis Kimetto (Berlin 2014)
Kenya's Dennis Kimetto smashed the marathon world record in Berlin in September 2014, winning the race in a time of two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds after setting a scintillating pace from the start to shave 26 seconds off the previous best.
Kimetto dazzled hundreds of thousands of spectators along the inner-city course with his quick and seemingly effortless running style that saw off any challenge during the race.
The 30-year-old pre-race favourite broke away in a seven-man group, including fellow Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai and Geoffrey Kamworor, after 20 kilometres on a sunny and cool Berlin morning.
Kimetto had to run a world record to beat everyone who showed up, as fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai, running 2:03:13, also dipped below the previous best mark. Kimetto’s run carved a whopping 26 seconds off Wilson Kipsang’s previous world record, a second for every mile of the race.
8). Wilson Kipsang (Berlin 2013)
After spending years being known as the man who came agonisingly close to breaking the marathon world record in 2011, Kenya's Wilson Kipsang made it his own property when he clocked 2:03:23 at the BMW Berlin Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, in September 2013.
Kipsang, 31, took 15 seconds off his compatriot Patrick Makau’s mark of 2:03:38, set in the same race in 2011.
9). David Rudisha (London 2012)
King David as they call him broke his own world record to claim an Olympic gold medal in the 800m at the London Games in August 2012.
Rudisha, then 23, stormed through the first lap in 49.28 and powered to a stunning victory in 1:40.91, taking 0.10 off his previous record as all eight finalists set record times. Rudisha is the first and only person to ever run under 1:41 for the event.
10). Patrick Makau (Berlin 2011)
Patrick Makau set a world record of 2:03:38 in the Berlin Marathon in September 2011, becoming only the second Kenyan to achieve the feat since Paul Tergat’s mark of 2:04:55 at the same course in 2003.
Just before Mile 17, Makau swung from one side of the flat course to the other, once, twice, three times, then surged. The tactic exposed and dropped the previous record-holder, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who had run 2:03:59 (world record) in Berlin in 2008.
Facts courtesy of International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)
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