Uganda's Cheptegei refreshes 5,000m world record at return of Diamond League

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PARIS, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- World champion Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda on Friday conquered Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele's 16-year-old 5,000m world record by improving it by 1.99s at the restart of the coronavirus-hit Diamond League in Monaco.

The 2019 men's 10,000 worlds champion clocked in 12 minutes 35.36 seconds to shatter Bekele's previous best of 12:37.35 which was set in 2004.

"I think Monaco is a special place and it's one of these places where I could break the world record," Cheptegei, 23, said after the win.

Back in February before the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, the Ugandan had set a world 5,000 record on the road also in Monaco. Then, everything has been changed by the virus.

"It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home but you have to stay motivated. I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach," he said. "I'm also usually based in Europe, but being based in Uganda with my family was actually great."

Kenya's Nicholas Kimeli was the only other man who broke 13 minutes, as he finished a distant second in a lifetime best of 12:51.78.

Following two exhibition events in Oslo and Zurich in June and July, the event in Monaco marked the real comeback of the competitive season for athletics. The next meeting is scheduled for August 23 in Stockholm, Sweden. Enditem

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