Kenya to the world: Kenyan record breakers

By - Jun 10th 2023

Faith Kipyegon broke the World Record in the 1,500m race at the Diamond League in Florence – Italy on Friday June 2, 2023. She clocked a time of 3:49.11 breaking the old record set by Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba at 3:50.07 in 2015. Faith is the first athlete to run the race under 3:50 minutes.  Barely a week later, she was at it again, smashing the 5000m world record in Paris with a time of 14:05.20.

Faith Kipyegon breaks world record in Florence, Italy.

Moses Kiptanui is famous for his exploits in the 3,000m steeplechase between 1991 and 1995. He is a three-time IAAF World Champion as well as being the first man to run the 3000m steeplechase in under eight minutes. He set the record in 3,000 (not steeplechase) in Cologne, Germany with a time of 7:28.96 minutes. Three days later he broke the 3000m steeplechase world record in Zurich with a time of 8:02.08. He ran the 3000m steeplechase in under eight minutes on August 16, 1995 in Zurich with a time of 7:59.18.

Eliud Kipchoge is a world icon in discipline and breaking limits for his exploits in the marathon. He broke the world record set by another Kenyan Dennis Kipruto Kimetto at the 2018 BMW Berlin marathon. He crossed the finishing line in 2:01:39.

Kipchoge's Ineos Challenge.

Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto broke the marathon world record at the Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:02:57 on September 28, 2014. He took 26 seconds off the previous mark, set in the same race in 2013 by Wilson Kipsang.

In 2019, Kipchoge became the first to run 42.2km in under two hours when he reached the tape in 1:59:40.2 at the Ineos159 Challenge held in Vienna, Austria. The race was not a world record as he ran alone with pace setters.

Beatrice Chepkoech Sitonik ran in 8:44.32 minutes to break the 3000m steeplechase world record at the 2018 Diamond League in Herculis, Monaco, France. She became the first woman to run the race in sub 8:45 and 8:50 minutes mark. Brigid Jepchirchir Kosgei is the current women’s marathon record holder. Kosgei smashed the world record at the October 2018 Chicago marathon crossing the finishing line in 2:14:04 to break Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record.

Brigid Kosgei.

David Rudisha’s 800m run in London 2012 Olympic August 9, 2012 was grand in style and grace. He ran the two laps in 1:40.91 minutes and the record remains “suspended in time”, remaining unbroken to date. He holds the three fastest times as well as six of the eight fastest times over the distance.

Kenyan-turned-Dane Wilson Kosgei Kipketer is also a former 800 metres runner. He holds the second-fastest record behind Rudisha. He matched Sebastian Coes’s record on July 7, 1997 at 1:41.73 minutes in Stockholm, Sweden. He broke the record twice that year; the first was in the Grand Prix meeting in Zurich, Switzerland on August 13, 1997 in 1:41.24 minutes. Eleven days later he improved the timings to 1:41.11 at the Grand Prix meet in Cologne, Germany. Kipketer’s 800 metres world record stood for almost 13 years. It was surpassed on August 22, 2010 when David Rudisha beat it by 0.02 seconds, running 1:41.09.

In the 5,000 metres race, Kenyans hold 39 best times of the top 100 times as per IAAF. Daniel Komen is at position four with his 12:39.74 minutes run in August 1997 in Brussels – Belgium. The second best is Jacob Krop who ran a time of 12,45.71 minutes in September 2, 2022 also in Brussels – Belgium.

In the 10,000 metres race, Kenyans hold 51 of the best 100 times recorded over the distance as per IAAF. Paul Tergat is the top-ranked Kenyan at position four with a time of 26:27.85 minutes set in August 1997 in Brussels - Belgium.  The second Kenyan is Nicholas Kemboi at 26:30.03 set in Brussels, Belgium in 2003. The world’s best time is 26:11.00 held by Ugandan Joshua Jeptegei. 

Paul Tergat.

In the men’s Half Marathon top 100 best times, Kenya holds 60 best times despite the World Record belonging to Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo. Kiplimo broke the record in Lisbon in November 21, 2021 with a time of 57:31 minutes. Kiplimo broke a record set in December 2020 by Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie won the Valencia Half Marathon setting a new world record of 57:32 minutes.

In the men’s marathon, Kenyans hold 43 of the best 100 times over the 42.2km road race. Ethiopia holds 42 of the best 100 best times, meaning Kenya and Ethiopia to hold over eighty percent of the world’s best times in Marathon.

In the women’s marathon, Kenyans hold 31 of the world’s best 100 times while Ethiopia holds 44. Ruth Chepng’etich comes second after Brigid Kosgei with a time of 2:14.18 she set in Chicago in October 2022. Ruth is the highest ranked Kenyan in half marathon at position three with a time of 1:04.02 set in Istanbul-Turkey. Kenyans hold 44 of the top 100 best times in Half Marathon.


Share this story