Kenya’s Agnes Ngetich has improved with every race this year, but she took things to another level in Brasov on ...
Kenya’s Agnes Ngetich has improved with every race this year, but she took things to another level in Brasov on Sunday (10) by setting a women-only world 10km record* of 29:24 at the Trunsylvania 10km, a World Athletics Elite Label road race.
The 22-year-old began 2023 with a third-place finish at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, claiming bronze behind her compatriot Beatrice Chebet and Ethiopia’s Tsigie Gebreselama.
“I started the year with the World Cross, which was perfect, so I wanted to close the season with a good result,” explained Ngetich, who achieved that aim in sensational style.
Ngetich was running with her compatriot Catherine Reline at 3km, which the pair reached in 8:32, but she soon broke away and had committed to a solo performance by 5km, passed in 14:25 – four seconds faster than the women-only world record for that distance of 14:29 set by Ethiopia’s Senbere Teferi in Herzogenaurach on 12 September 2021.
It was also on that day in Herzogenaurach that the late Agnes Tirop set the previous women-only world 10km record of 30:01.
Competing on a looped course, Ngetich clocked 18:54 at 6.5km and 24:56 at 8.5km before crossing the finish line in 29:24 to make more history.
Only one woman has ever beaten Ngetich’s time in a mixed race: Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who ran 29:14 in Castellon last year and 29:19 in Valencia earlier this year.
“The world record is a surprise to me,” said Ngetich, who started the 2022 race in Brasov as the pacemaker but went on to finish second in 30:30. “I didn’t expect to get the world record. I just wanted a PB, low 30 minutes to break the course record, but a world record is really a surprise.