28 MAR 2012 General News

Bekele betters a Nurmi record on World records

In Berlin 2009, another World 5000m gold for Kenenisa Bekele (Getty Images)In Berlin 2009, another World 5000m gold for Kenenisa Bekele (Getty Images) © Copyright

It's been almost eight years in the making but today, 28 March 2012, Kenenisa Bekele will set a record for the most consecutive days holding both the World records for 5000 and 10,000 metres.


The 29-year-old Ethiopian superstar set a 10,000 World record of 26:20.31 on 8 June, 2004 to go along with his 5000 World record of 12:37.35 recorded eight days earlier, 31 May. On Wednesday, Bekele will have held both records for 2850 days in row.


Another all-time legend, IAAF Hall of Fame member Paavo Nurmi, added a 10,000m World record of 30:06.1 on 31 August, 1924 to his 5000m World record of 14:28.2 from 19 June of that same year. It wasn't until 19 June, 1932 that Nurmi's double supremacy of 2849 days ended when another Finn Lauri Lehtinen ran 14:16.9 for 5000m.


Bekele will still be chasing another Nurmi record since The Flying Finn had a second double streak of 560 days from 12 September, 1922 to 25 March, 1924. That combined total of 3409 days won't be surpassed until 9 October, 2013.


Then again it does not look like there are any challengers on the horizon who could take away either of Bekele’s World records. The fastest non-Bekele time in the 10,000m since his current WR of 26:17.53 set in August 2005 is just 26:35.63 by Micah Kogo and that was six years ago. The non-Bekele world leader for 2011 was 26:43.98. In the 5000m the best non-Bekele time (12:46.53, Eliud Kipchoge) was a distant eight years ago; last year's fastest 12:53.11.


Only nine men have simultaneously held both IAAF 5000m and 10,000m World records. Haile Gebrselassie holds the distinction of having both the most reigns (four) and the shortest reign (three days).


NAME, START DATE, END DATE, DAYS BETWEEN


Kenenisa Bekele - 06/08/04 - 03/28/12* - 2850

Paavo Nurmi - 08/31/24 - 06/19/32 - 2849

Ron Clarke - 07/05/66 - 09/03/72 - 2252

Haile Gebrselassie - 06/13/98 - 05/31/04 - 2179

Henry Rono - 06/11/78 - 07/07/82 - 1487

Taisto Mäki - 06/16/39 - 09/20/42 - 1192

Vladimir Kuts - 10/13/57 - 10/15/60 - 1098

Paavo Nurmi - 09/12/22 - 03/25/24 - 560

Haile Gebrselassie - 08/16/95 - 08/23/96 - 373

Ron Clarke - 01/16/65 - 11/30/65 - 318

Emil Zatopek - 05/30/54 - 08/29/54 - 91

Haile Gebrselassie - 07/04/97 - 08/22/97 - 49

Lasse Viren - 09/14/72 - 09/20/72 - 6

Haile Gebrselassie - 06/05/95 - 06/08/95 - 3


*still ongoing


Marty Post for the IAAF