Kenya: ‘All I Ever Wanted Was a New Personal Best,’ – Kenya’s Ngetich Says After Breaking Women-Only World Record in Romania

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Nairobi — World Cross Country bronze medalist Agnes Ngetich admits that setting a world record for the 10km was the last thing on her mind when she lined up at the start line at the Trunsylvania 10km in Romania on Sunday morning.

The 22-year-old led a 1-2 Kenyan finish, clocking a women-only world record of 29:24 as compatriot Catherine Reline (30:14) and Ugandan Joy Cheptoyek (30:34) finished second and third respectively.

“It is quite a surprise to me…I didn’t expect to break the world record. All I ever wanted was a personal best (PB) of 30:00 or 30:02 but to set a new world record in the women’s 10km was the last thing I expected,” Ngetich said.

Ngetich, who finished sixth in the women’s 10,000m at last month’s World Championships in Budapest, seemed a woman on a mission from the start as she covered the first half of the race in an impressive 14:25.

The time was four seconds faster than the women-only world record for the 5km and served as a precursor of things to come.

Ngetich was relentless, covering 6.5 km in 18:54 and 8.5 km in 24:56 on her way to smashing the previous record of 30:01, which was set by another Kenyan and namesake, Agnes Tirop, at the Roads to Record Adizero 10km race in Herzogenaurach in 2021.

Quizzed on her fast start, Ngetich said she was not worried about the possibility of burning out midway through the race.

“No, I was not worried…When the gun went off, I just decided to run and go for it. I started the season on a perfect note with the World Cross Country Championships (in Bathurst, Australia) and so I wanted to close it in the same way. I thank God that it unfolded this way,” she said amidst smiles.