Joshua Cheptegei is not human.
The Ugandan running freak did the impossible today by smashing a world record that has stood for 15 years with a mind-blowing time in the 10,000m.
Running in the NN World Record Day in Valencia, Spain, the 24-year-old posted a time of 26 minutes, 11.02 seconds — obliterating the old mark by more than six seconds.
Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele held the previous record when he ran the distance in 26:17.53 back in 2005, but that was no match for Cheptegei in the mood he was in.
To put the new record in perspective, Cheptegei’s time works out to running 100m roughly every 15.7 seconds.
That is just bonkers.
Cheptegei had already broken two world records this year but had his sights on a third when eyeing off Bekele’s 10,000m time.
“With the look of things now with COVID-19 you cannot win a medal, you cannot race in a championship this year so the best is to try to break the world record,” he said at the pre-meet press conference.
Back in February, Cheptegei smashed the world 5km road record in Monaco. Then, after a period of lockdown in his native Uganda, he returned to Monaco and, in his first race back, wiped almost two seconds off Bekele’s 16-year-old world record time over the 5000m as he clocked an astonishing 12:35.35.
“People never believed I could come close to the 5000 metres world record. Now I have it,” Cheptegei said.
“COVID presented an opportunity — I needed to run faster so the next goal is to try and break the 10,000 metres world record.
“There is nothing better than to try these crazy things this year.”
That “crazy dream” is now a reality.
Cheptegei served notice of his class when he took silver at the 2017 world championships in London when he was still just 20.
Last year he went one better, collecting gold in Doha. He had already won the world cross country championship five months earlier.
Before today Cheptegei only had the 18th quickest time over 10,000m with a best in Doha of 26:48.36 — but he shattered his own PB en route to toppling Bekele.