Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum took two seconds off the world record in a 5km mixed race, winning the Urbain Trail Lille event clocking 14:41s.
The previous women’s world 5km record set in a mixed gender race was 14:43s set by Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech in Monaco on February 14 this year.
Dawit Seyaum, the 1,500m specialist, was just racing in the fourth road race of her career. The Ethiopian had world-leading steeplechaser Norah Jeruto and African 5,000m bronze medallist Meskerem Mamo for company through the early stages.
The trio covered 2km in 5:51s and 3km in 8:46s, putting them well inside the schedule required to break Beatrice Chepkoech’s world record of 14:43s.
The pace dropped slightly in the fourth kilometer as Mamo lost contact with Dawit Seyaum and Jeruto. Seyaum, however, picked up her cadence in the closing stages and pulled away from Jeruto to win in 14:41s. Jeruto finished second in 14:43s, while Mamo held on for third in 14:55s.
The performance comes just two months after Seyaum's compatriot, Senbere Teferi, set a women-only world record of 14:29s for the distance in Herzogenaurach.
In the men’s race, Diamond League 5,000m champion Berihu Aregawi of Ethiopia came within one second of Joshua Cheptegei’s world record. Aregawi won by more than half a minute in 12:52s. Hosea Kiplangat of Uganda was second in 13:25s, finishing four seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Yasin Haji.
There was further Ethiopian success in the men’s 10km as the relatively unheralded Chimdesa Debele Gudeta won in 27:16s from Kenya’s Kenneth Kiprop (27:25s). Steeplechase specialist Celliphine Chespol won the women’s 10km in 30:21 from fellow Kenyan Daisy Cherotich (30:33s).
Dawit Seyaum returns to roads from tracks
Dawit Seyaum made her road race debut in 2015 when she ran in 4:36.0s to win a mile in Boston. However, after the win, Dawit Seyaum switched her attention to the tracks and went on to finish fourth in the World Athletics Championships 1,500m final in Beijing.
Dawit Seyaum then went on to win a silver medal at the World Indoor Championships in 2016 and continued to focus on racing on the oval.
However, Seyaum's decision this year to return to the roads has clearly paid off, as she clocked 15:10s on her 5km debut in Herzogenaurach in September. She then registered a timing of 31:25s for 10km – her furthest race so far – for fourth place in Geneva in October.
Those performances were to provide the perfect platform from which the 25-year-old launched herself for a record-breaking achievement in Lille.
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