Joyciline Jepkosgei broke the world 10km record* at the Birell Prague Grand Prix, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on Saturday (9).
The 23-year-old Kenyan clocked 29:43 to smash through the 30-minute barrier and break her own record of 30:04, also set in the Czech capital, at the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon on 1 April. The performance marked the fifth world record of the year for Jepkosgei, who broke four – 10km, 15km, 20km and the half marathon – en route to her victory at the Prague Half Marathon.
"I’m really pleased to have won today and managed to break a world record," Jepkosgei said. "The whole race was really tough and I basically had my heart set on a record right from the start which really took it out of me. But I’m really happy to have succeeded.”
Running with a designated pacesetter for nearly the entire race, Jepkosgei went on a tear from the gun, reaching the midway point in 14:32, a world best for 5km on the roads.
"Everything was going according to plan from the first kilometres; in fact it couldn’t have gone any better," she said. "I’m pretty tired right now, but at the same time really satisfied.”
Behind her, compatriot Fancy Chemutai was second in 30:06, just two seconds outside of the previous world record for the third fastest time ever. Violah Jepchumba, last year's winner, clocked 30:25 to finish third.
The men's race also delivered some especially fast times, with the first three producing the three fastest times in the world this season. It was a thriller as well, with Benard Kimeli and Mathew Kimeli battling stride-for-stride over the final kilometre before Benard prevailed in 27:10, a new course record and lifetime best.
“I’m really pleased with my time," the winner said. "The pacemakers were running a bit too slow, so I decided to take things into my own hands and set my own pace. The final two kilometres and the duel with Mathew were seriously gripping and I’m delighted to say I’ve finally managed to win in Prague.”
Mathew Kimeli crossed the finish just a step behind in 27:11 with little-known compatriot Rhonex Kipruto third in 27:13.
Eight men managed to finish within 28 minutes including Norway's Sondre Nordstad Moen who set a European-leading PB of 27:55.
Bob Ramsak and organisers for the IAAF
1 Benard Kimeli (KEN) 27:10
2 Methew Kipkorir Kimeli (KEN) 27:11
3 Rhonex Kipruto (KEN) 27:13
4 Justus Kangogo (KEN) 27:51
5 Amos Kibiwot Kurgat (KEN) 27:53
6 Jamal Yimer Mekonnen (ETH) 27:54
7 Sondre Nordstad Moen (NOR) 27:55
8 Isaac Kipkoech Langat (KEN) 27:55
9 Robert Kipchichir Mwei (KEN) 28:05
10 Abel Kipchumba (KEN) 28:06
1 Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN) 29:43
2 Fancy Chemutai (KEN) 30:06
3 Violah Jepchumba (BRN) 30:25
4 Sheila Chepkirui Kiprotich (KEN) 30:28
5 Stacy Chepkemboi Ndiwa (KEN) 31:37
6 Belaynesh Tsegaye (ETH) 32:52
7 Eva Vrabcová-Nývltová (CZE) 33:08
8 Iulia Shmatenko (UKR) 33:18
9 Olga Skrypak (UKR) 34:01
10 Kayoko Fukushi (JPN) 34:44
*subject to the usual ratification procedures