‘World 10km record was not in my plans’

Agnes Jebet Ngetich, the women’s-only 10kilometres world record holder, during her home coming ceremony at Eldoret International Airport in Uasin Gishu County on September 14, 2023.

What you need to know:

  • Heroine Ngetich confesses her target in Romania was a personal best time

What a startling revelation by new women’s only 10km world record holder Agnes Jebet Ngetich.

“I’m so happy I managed to break the world record though I had not planned for it during my preparations. I just wanted to compete and run my personal best but when I was at the 5km mark, I realised I was on world record pace and that inspired me to go for it,” said Ngetich on Thursday.

She was speaking at her homecoming reception at the Eldoret International Airport in Uasin Gishu County.

Ngetich, 22, dedicated the world record to her mother Veronica Cheruto who was also a long distance athlete in the early 1990s.

Ngetich, who trains in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County under the Ikaika Sports management, ran inside the 5km world record with a time of 14:25 before finishing in with a world record of 29:24 at the Brasov Running Festival 10km in Romania last Sunday.

The Kapsait-based Catherine Reline emerged second after timing 30:14 while Uganda’s Joy Cheptoyek settled for third place in 30:34.

Ngetich broke the previous record held by the late Agnes Chebet Tirop of 30:01 set at the Roads to Records in Germany in 2021.

She said that her mother has been a pillar in her career in athletics.

Analysing the race, Ngetich said that her target was to run inside her personal best time of 30:30 but she was surprised that she not only shed her personal best time but also ran a world record.

She added that she had found the course ideal and coupled with the good weather conditions everything favoured a fast race.

She added that she felt strong all through the race and in fact upped her pace in the second half of the course. It has been a good season for Ngetich having started with a bronze medal at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia in the women’s senior category before finish sixth at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary last month in the 10,000m race.

“My focus now shifts to the World Cross Country Championships next year in Medulin and Pula, Croatia which will help me prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games.

"I still want to represent Kenya at that level and excel.  I am still new in the distance but I believe my time is coming,” said Ngetich.