Beatrice Chebet (28:54.14) Smashes 10,000m World Record to Win Kenyan Olympic Trials at Pre Classic

5,000 WR holder Guday Tsegay ends up second in 29:05 after leading for 22 laps

EUGENE, Ore. – Recipe for a 10,000-meter world record:

Take one of the world’s best distance runners — a two-time world cross country champ would be perfect. Give her favorable conditions (57 degrees and cloudy, 4 mph wind). Add pacing lights set to WR pace, and the reigning world track champion to serve as the unofficial rabbit for the first 8800 meters. Garnish with a standing ovation from the Hayward Field crowd on the last lap.

And…presto! You’ve got yourself a world record.

Beatrice Chebet breaks 10,000m world record (Kevin Morris photo)

That’s what happened at Hayward Field on Saturday morning when Beatrice Chebet ran 28:54.14 to win the women’s 10,000 meters at the 2024 Prefontaine Classic, smashing the previous mark of 29:01.03 and becoming the first woman ever under 29:00 on the track (two women have broken 29:00 for 10k on the roads). With the win, Chebet, the 2022 Worlds silver medalist and 2023 Worlds bronze medalist at 5,000 meters, also clinched a spot on the Olympic team as the race doubled as the Kenyan Olympic trials.

10,000 world champion Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia, who led the first 22 laps, was second in 29:05.92 (#3 on the all-time list). Lilian Rengeruk, who took silver behind Chebet at World XC in March, also earned the second spot on the Kenyan Olympic team by outsprinting Margaret Kipkemboi for 2nd in 29:26.89 (#6 all-time) to Kipkemboi’s 29:27.59 (#7 all-time). Kipkemboi has a strong chance to be named to the Kenyan Olympic team as a discretionary pick, but only the top two women were guaranteed an Olympic berth today.

Chebet had not come to Eugene for a world record; her main aim had just to be to make her first Olympic team in what was just the third track 10,000 of her life. But Tsegay, who had set a 5,000m world record of 14:00.21 in her last appearance at the Pre Classic in 2023 (with Chebet 2nd in 14:05.92), wanted another one and the Wavelight was set to a 29:01.03 tempo.

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Gudaf Tsegay leads Beatrice Chebet in Prefontain 10,000m (Kevin Morris photo) Gudaf Tsegay leads Beatrice Chebet in Prefontain 10,000m (Kevin Morris photo)

“When Gudaf asked for a world record, then for me I decided to say, let me try to go with that,” Chebet said.

Once the gun fired at 10:50 a.m. Pacific Time, Chebet latched onto Tsegay and would not let go. All three of the official pacers had stepped off the track by 3800 meters, leaving Tsegay to push the pace, and a group of four (Tsegay, Chebet, Rengeruk, Kipkemboi) hit halfway in 14:31.08. That pace soon became too much for Rengeruk and Kipkemboi, leaving Tsegay and Chebet to chase the lights on their own.

Tsegay was game to push on but by the final mile, she was grimacing and the lights were starting to get away from her. Chebet was still full of run, however, and pounced just before three laps to go.

“I saw the Wavelight going away from Gudaf,” Chebet said. “Then I decided to see. I feel like I’m still strong. Let me try and see.”

Chebet was quickly ahead of the lights, and by the bell, the half-full Hayward Field crowd was on its feet roaring her on. It was not a question of whether she would break the record, but by how much. She closed with a 63.63 final 400 and the record was hers.

Tsegay said that earlier in the week, she was not sure whether she would attempt the world record because of pain in her foot, but she felt good in her final strides on Friday and decided the record attempt would go ahead. She said it was hard to press on in the second half without pacers, but was a class act afterwards and gave a huge hug to Chebet after the finish.

“Sometimes it’s like that, no problem,” Tsegay said. “Congratulations to Chebet, very fast time.”

Beatrice Chebet runs 28:54.14 world record (Kevin Morris photo)


Rank Name (Country) Time SBPB
1 Beatrice Chebet (KEN) 28:54.14 WR
2 Gudaf Tsegay (ETH) 29:05.92 PB
3 Lilian Kasait Rengeruk (KEN) 29:26.89 PB
4 Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi (KEN) 29:27.59 PB
5 Janeth Chepngetich (KEN) 30:04.97 PB
6 Emmaculate Anyango Achole (KEN) 30:06.43 PB
7 Catherine Reline Amanang’ole (KEN) 30:07.42 PB
8 Faith Chepkoech (KEN) 30:22.77 SB
9 Sarah Chelangat (UGA) 30:24.04 NRPB
10 Miriam Chebet (KEN) 30:27.30 SB
11 Grace Loibach Nawowuna (KEN) 30:34.86 SB
12 Loice Chemnung (KEN) 30:44.86 SB
13 Daisy Jepkemei (KAZ) 30:52.43 SB
DNF Mekedes Alemeshete (ETH)
DNF Saron Berhe (ETH)
DNF Selah Busienei (KEN)
DNF Jesca Chelangat (KEN) 30:26.40
DNF Diana Chepkrir (KEN)
DNF Rachel MacArthur (USA)
DNS Cintia Chepngeno (KEN)
DNS Agnes Jebet Ngetich (KEN)

Quick Take: Chebet wants to double at the Olympics

One of the benefits to holding the 10,000 trials outside of the main Kenyan Olympic trials (June 14-15) is that athletes have the opportunity to double in the 10,000 and 5,000. Chebet’s main focus until this year had been the 5,000 (she had not run a track 10,000 since 2020) but saw the opportunity to run both and would like to do so in Paris if she makes both teams.

This was a big result for Chebet as she has yet to taste global gold on the track and she just took down the woman who won the 5,000 at the 2022 Worlds and the 10,000 at the 2023 Worlds. But given Tsegay was banged up this week and led most of this race, she will likely be harder to defeat in Paris.

It’s pretty cool that the last two times Chebet and Tsegay have run in Eugene, they’ve gone 1-2 and set two world records. Tsegay ran a 5,000 world record of 14:00.21 to Chebet’s 14:05.92 last year, and today the positions were reversed with Chebet running a 10,000 world record of 28:54.14 to Tsegay’s 29:05.92.

Gudaf Tsegay was pleased with her performance

Tsegay was hoping for the WR but was all class afterwards, hugging Chebet after the pair crossed the finish line and giving her credit for a great run in her post-race interview. Looking ahead, Tsegay said she wants to run two or three events in Paris — some combination of the 1500, 5k, and 10k — but declined to rank her preference when asked in her native language (thanks to Hannah Borenstein for translation services).

Men’s 10,000 by Robert Johnson

Daniel Mateiko, a 25-year-old with a 58:26 half marathon pb, was the surprise winner of the all-Kenyan men’s 10,000 in 26:50.81 in a race that saw four men battling it out for the win on the last lap. Prior to today, Mateiko, who is the 13th-fastest man in history at the half marathon (58:26), was perhaps best known for hanging with Kelvin Kiptum for 18 miles during Kiptun’s world record run in Chicago last year. Mateiko ended up dropping out in that race (his marathon debut) and also dropped out of April’s London Marathon. He admitted that even he was surprised to outkick the track men today.

“I was not expecting this one despite the fact that I was doing the marathon training,” Mateiko said.

But Mateiko also won the RAK Half in February and now this race. Leader to leader the last lap was 56.73. For comparison’s sake, Grant Fisher closed The Ten in 56.78 in March.

Nicholas Kipkorir, who was 4th in the 5000 at the 2021 Olympics and 4th at this year’s World XC and had recently run 12:59 in Xiamen, earned the second guaranteed Olympic spot in 26:50.94. Benard Kibet, the 5th placer at Worlds last year, was third in 26:51.09 and will have to wait to see if he gets in on the good graces of Athletics Kenya, who also will likely consider giving the spot to 2023 10,000 world silver medallist Daniel Ebenyo, who fell with about 2k to go and only ended up 8th (27:24.33). 2022 10,000 world silver medallist Stanley Mburu was 7th in 27:07.37.

1. Daniel MATEIKO 04 AUG 1998 KEN 26:50.81
2. Nicholas KIPKORIR 29 SEP 1998 KEN 26:50.94
3. Benard KIBET 25 NOV 1999 KEN 26:51.09
4. Edwin KURGAT 19 MAY 1996 KEN 26:51.54
5. Benson KIPLANGAT 17 JUN 2003 KEN 26:55.09
6. Kibiwott KANDIE 20 JUN 1996 KEN 26:58.97
7. Stanley Waithaka MBURU 09 APR 2000 KEN 27:07.37
8. Daniel Simiu EBENYO 18 SEP 1995 KEN 27:24.33
9. Francis ABONG 23 MAR 1996 KEN 27:37.68
10. Ronald KWEMOI 19 SEP 1995 KEN 27:47.72
11. Peter Mwaniki AILA 09 JUN 1994 KEN 27:49.43
12. Weldon LANGAT 24 FEB 1998 KEN 28:02.55
13. Gideon Kipkertich RONO 22 FEB 2003 KEN 28:25.19
Samwel Chebolei MASAI 20 MAR 2001 KEN DNF

Edwin Kurgat has no regrets after big move on the last lap

The last lap today was absolutely thrilling with the leaders hitting the bell four abreast. 2019 NCAA XC champ Edwin Kurgat eventually took the lead early in the last lap and tried to gap the field, but they would not relent and Kurgat ran out of steam and was a heartbreaking 4th. Kurgat, who now trains under Stephen Haas as part of Dark Sky Distance in Flagstaff, was still proud of how he ran against some of the world’s best distance runners.

“This was one of those races, everybody is good or really good,” Kurgat said. “I wanted to give myself a chance. I knew we were four and they only needed two plus the one that would be chosen. I knew we had the [27:00 Olympic standard] so with 400 to go, I was like, I’ll give myself a chance, whatever happens let happen. And that was the result.

“I have no regrets. I’m really, really happy. This is my first trials when it comes to a big Olympic team and I gave my best, I gave everything I had.”

Daniel Ebenyo describes his fall

Talk about the race on our messageboard:

Results and post-race interviews below.

1. Beatrice CHEBET 05 MAR 2000 KEN 28:54.14
2. Gudaf TSEGAY 23 JAN 1997 ETH 29:05.92
3. Lilian Kasait RENGERUK 03 MAY 1997 KEN 29:26.89
4. Margaret Chelimo KIPKEMBOI 09 FEB 1993 KEN 29:27.59
5. Janeth CHEPNGETICH 23 JUL 1998 KEN 30:04.97
6. Emmaculate Anyango ACHOL 02 APR 2000 KEN 30:06.43
7. Catherine Reline AMANANG’OLE 05 OCT 2002 KEN 30:07.42
8. Faith CHEPKOECH 12 MAY 2003 KEN 30:22.77
9. Sarah CHELANGAT 05 JUN 2001 UGA 30:24.04
10. Miriam CHEBET 18 SEP 2002 KEN 30:27.30
11. Grace Loibach NAWOWUNA 10 NOV 2003 KEN 30:34.86
12. Loice CHEMNUNG 22 FEB 1997 KEN 30:44.86
13. Daisy JEPKEMEI 13 FEB 1996 KAZ 30:52.43
Saron BERHE 22 AUG 2007 ETH DNF

Post-race interview with world record holder Beatrice Chebet

Post-race interview with Gudaf Tsegay


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