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Taye and Aregawi set new world 5km records in Barcelona

Motivated by narrowly missing Olympic podium in Tokyo, Taye and Aregawi end their year on a high, winning at the Cursa dels Nassos 5km event in Barcelona.

Ejegayehu Taye and Berihu Aregawi
Ejegayehu Taye and Berihu Aregawi / © Xavi Ballart

Ethiopia’s Ejegayehu Taye and Berihu Aregawi broke the world 5km records at the Cursa dels Nassos in Barcelona on Friday, clocking 14:18 and 12:50 respectively.

Taye, 21, had set an Ethiopian 3000m record of 8:19.52 earlier this year, and was the second-fastest woman in the world over 5000m this season, but tonight in Barcelona she was contesting just the second international road race of her career.

Twenty-year-old Aregawi, meanwhile, had come within one second of Joshua Cheptegei’s world record in Lille last month, so was keen to take another crack at the mark before the year was out to ensure he could end 2021 on a high.

With the women and men starting at the same time, Taye was able to use some of the men in the field as pacemakers.

She opened up a clear gap on Sweden’s Meraf Bahta in the early stages and went on to win in 14:18, taking 25 seconds off the world record for the 5km in a mixed race. Bahta was second in 15:04.

Aregawi had a pacemaker for company for the first kilometre or so, but after then was out on his own.

The Diamond League 5000m champion stormed through the finish line in 12:50, taking one second off Cheptegei’s world record.

Peter Maru was a distant runner-up in 13:30.

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World Athletics (formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF) is the international governing body for the sport of athletics, such as running, jumping and throwing.

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