Teferi and Tirop come of age with world records in Herzogenaurach

"VAN" (Sports Desk - 14.09.2021) :: For the past eight seasons, regular rivals Senbere Teferi and Agnes Tirop have been two of the most versatile yet underrated distance runners in the world.

From the 2015 World Cross Country Championships, where Tirop took gold just ahead of Teferi in the senior race, despite both being teenagers at the time, to the Tokyo Olympic 5000m final where the two women finished just shy of the medals, the duo have brought out the best of one another on the roads, track and cross country.

In their most recent competition, however, they contested different distances but with the same outcome: a world record-breaking run*.

Competing at the adizero Road To Records event in Herzogenaurach on Sunday (12), Tirop took 28 seconds off the long-standing women-only world record for 10km, clocking 30:01, while Teferi set an outright world record for 5km with 14:29.

Tirop broke away from fellow Kenyan Sheila Chepkirui with little more than two kilometres to go and eventually won by 16 seconds, though Chepkirui still finished comfortably inside the previous world record.

“I’m so happy to have broken the world record,” said Tirop, who finished fourth over 5000m at the Tokyo Olympics. “I felt the pace was good and Sheila assisted me a lot. The course was very good too.”

Teferi, meanwhile, dropped the rest of the 5km field after the first kilometre and went on to win by 25 seconds from fellow Ethiopian Melknat Wudu. Not only did it break the women-only world record of 14:44 set by Beatrice Chepkoech and the 14:43 outright world record set by Sifan Hassan in a mixed race, Teferi also bettered the fastest 5km clocking in history of 14:32, set by Joyciline Jepkosgei before the distance became an official world record event.

“After the Olympics, I knew I was ready to go after this world record,” said Teferi, who earlier this year moved to seventh on the world all-time list for 5000m with 14:15.24. “I'm so happy.”


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