Yomif Kejelcha threatens world 5km record in Lille
Addis Ababa, March 20, 2023 (FBC) – Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha crept even closer to the world 5km record in Lille on Sunday, clocking 12:50 in the French city.
The two-time world indoor champion came close to Berihu Aregawi’s world record of 12:49 in Herzogenaurach last year, setting a PB of 12:53. One year on from that, Yomif took another crack at the mark and fell just one second shy of the record, but was still rewarded with a PB.
Compatriots Telahun Haile Bekele and Yasin Haji, as well as Kenya’s Jacob Krop, ran alongside Yomif as they passed through the first kilometre in 2:32. But Yomif Kejelcha soon started to make an early break, and by the time he reached 3km in 7:40, he had a seven-second lead over Bekele, Tesfaye Kidanu and world U20 1500m champion Reynold Kipkorir.
Yomif continued to pull away in the final two kilometres in a bid to finish inside the existing world record, but he stopped the clock at 12:50. Nevertheless, he now moves up to second on the world all-time list – one place above Joshua Cheptegei – after winning the race by 14 seconds.
The women’s race was even closer with Caroline Nyaga just getting the better of world steeplechase bronze medallist Mekdes Abebe of Ethiopia at the finish, both athletes clocking 14:35.
In other races in Lille, Ethiopia’s Gemechu Dida won the men’s half marathon in a tight race with Emmanuel Kiprop, 27:12 to 27:13.