Beatrice Chepkoech, the reigning world 3000m steeplechase record-holder, added another feather to her cap by setting a new world record in the 2000m steeplechase event at the Boris Hanzekovic Memorial in Zagreb on Sunday.
The Kenyan sensation, aged 32, came into the event with her sights set on the previous record of 5:52.80, held by Gesa Felicitas Krause since 2019.
From the moment the starting gun fired, Chepkoech launched her attack on history. Surging ahead of the pacemakers, she blazed through the first half of the race in an astonishing 2:51.15.
However, it was in the second half that Chepkoech truly dazzled the crowd and the world. She crossed the finish line in a breathtaking 5:47.42, obliterating the previous record and securing her name in the annals of track and field history.
Her 20-year-old compatriot, Winnie Jemutai, also delivered an exceptional performance, clocking in at 5:52.92, just narrowly missing the previous record.
Slovenia’s Marusa Mismas-Zrimsek achieved a remarkable national record of 5:53.38, while Albania’s Luiza Gega finished fourth with a time of 5:56.79.
Chepkoech, visibly elated after her incredible feat, stated, “I had one world record, and now I have two, so I am lucky. It is all about staying focused and positive, and I thank God I was able to run well during the season.”
In recognition of her outstanding achievement, Beatrice Chepkoech is set to receive a reward of Ksh 5 million from the Kenyan government for her historic performance.
Her next challenges include competing at the Wanda Diamond League Final in Eugene and preparing for the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, where she will participate in the mile alongside fellow Kenyan athletes Faith Kipyegon and Nelly Chepchirchir.
The Zagreb event also witnessed other exceptional performances, including Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn’s victory in the women’s 100m hurdles with a meeting record of 12.47.
Daniel Roberts of the USA gave a strong performance in the men’s 100m hurdles, but it was Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, the Olympic champion, who emerged victorious.
Additionally, meeting records were set in the men’s 3000m and the women’s 1500m, showcasing the remarkable talent on display in Zagreb.
Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu, Henrik Ingebrigtsen, and Jonas Raess delivered impressive performances in the men’s 3000m, while Esther Guerrero, Linden Hall, and Revee Walcott-Nolan shone in the women’s 1500m.