In a year without a major championship -- or even a Diamond League final -- world record attempts are suddenly all the rage.
When Joshua Cheptegei took on (and ultimately broke) Kenenisa Bekele's 5,000-meter world record last month, his thought process was simple: to go down as a legend of the sport, you need medals, and you need records. And in 2020, only one of those things was available to him.
The big news yesterday was that Cheptegei isn't satisfied with breaking just one of Bekele's records this in 2020; his NN Running Team announced that Cheptegei will target Bekele's 10,000 record of 26:17.53 in Valencia on October 7. Try to watch the announcement video without getting chills.
But Cheptegei is hardly alone in his record chase. Today in Brussels, the two best female distance runners on Earth in 2019 -- 1500/10k world champ Sifan Hassan and marathon WR holder Brigid Kosgei -- will attempt to set the record for most distance run in one hour; Mo Farah is coming out of his track retirement to do the same on the men's side. In between those two races, Olympic 1500 champ Faith Kipyegon will try to break the 1000m WR that eluded her by .17 in Monaco.
In the field, Mondo Duplantis is a threat to break the outdoor world record every time he steps into a stadium. Heck, the guy doesn't even need a stadium: on Wednesday, he cleared 6.07m in Lausanne's Place de l'Europe to become the second-highest outdoor vaulter ever. And though Ryan Crouser won't be in Brussels, he has a European tour planned for later this month in which he'll try to break Randy Barnes' 23.12m shot put world record. And somehow we haven't even mentioned Karsten Warholm yet.
Statisticians, get the Wite-Out handy, because the record books may be undergoing heavy revision this month.
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Under 58:30 for the men and under 66:11 (women's-only WR) for the women are the goal times. The field includes nine sub-60-minute men, led by Stephen Kiprop (58:42) and Kibiwott Kandie (58:58), and three sub-66 women, led by 2016 World Half champ Peres Jepchirchir (65:06).
Everything You Need to Know About Joshua Cheptegei's Latest WR Attempt