Dalilah Muhammad’s world 400m hurdles record of 52.16 and Yaroslava Mahuchikh’s world U20 high jump records of 2.02m and 2.04m, all set at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, have now been ratified, along with Joshua Cheptegei’s world 10km record of 26:38 and Edward Cheserek’s 5km world record-equalling run of 13:29.
Muhammad, the Olympic champion, broke the 400m hurdles world record twice in 2019, but it was her second, on 4 October which propelled her to her first world title, that will prove most memorable.
In one of the most eagerly anticipated match-ups of the 2019 World Championships, Muhammad faced Diamond League champion Sydney McLaughlin in a race that didn’t disappoint. Both went out hard, running virtually even after the first 200 metres. Muhammad built a narrow lead midway through the final bend to enter the final straight with a two-metre lead.
McLaughlin fought back, but Muhammad held her off in the waning stages to shave a further 0.04 seconds from the mark she set at the US Championships on 28 July.
Muhammad’s performance earned her a US$100,000 bonus as part of the world record programme supported by QNB. She was later named World Athlete of the Year.
The women’s high jump in Doha was nearly as dramatic as Mahuchikh twice broke the world U20 record with leaps of 2.02m and 2.04m on 30 September to take surprise silver behind defending champion Mariya Lasitskene. With her stellar performance, Mahuchikh bettered the previous world U20 mark of 2.01m held by USSR’s Olga Turchak and Germany’s Heike Balck from 1986 and 1989 respectively. The rising Ukrainian star also became the youngest ever World Athletics Championships field event medallist.
Cheptegei capped one of the most sensational all-around distance running seasons in recent years with his commanding run at the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso on 1 December where he clipped six seconds from the previous record of 26:44 set by Leonard Patrick Komon in 2010.
The 23-year-old Ugandan’s performance came less than two months after he cruised to the world 10,000m title in Doha where he clocked 26:48.36, the fastest time in the world in 2019, and eight months after he led a Ugandan 1-2 finish at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, clocking 31:40 over the notoriously difficult 10.24km course.
It was a largely solo effort for Cheptegei, who overtook the pacesetters before the halfway point, reaching 5k in 13:23, one second shy of the world record for that distance.
Kenya’s Cheserek, who won a staggering 17 NCAA titles while a student at the University of Oregon, clocked 13:29 at the Carlsbad 5000 in Carlsbad, California USA on 7 April 2019 to equal the record set by Julien Wanders on 17 February 2019 in Monaco.
Robert Keter broke the world 5km record with a 13:22 performance on 9 November 2019 in Lille, France, a record which has since been ratified.
The 5km road distance was introduced as an official world record event in November 2017, with the inaugural record to be recognised after 1 January 2018 if the performances were equal to or better than 13:10 for men and 14:45 for women.
If no such performances were achieved in 2018, the best performances of 2018 (13:30 by Bernard Kibet and 14:48 by Caroline Kipkurui) would be recognised on 1 January 2019. Seven weeks into 2019, Wanders and Sifan Hassan bettered those marks in Monaco by clocking 13:29 and 14:44.
Several athletes, however, had gone quicker than Keter’s 13:22 before the 5km became an official world record event. The fastest time ever recorded for the distance remains Sammy Kipketer’s 13:00 clocking in Carlsbad in 2000.
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