Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli led a sub-27:00 top three, while Sheila Chepkirui came close to the women-only world record, as they both set Romanian all-comers’ records at the Brasov Running Festival 10km, a World Athletics Elite label road race, on Sunday (25).
Kipkorir won the men’s race in 26:51, a time that moves him to fifth on the world 10km all-time list, and his Kenyan compatriot Chepkirui clocked 30:07 to miss the women-only world record by just six seconds.
Kipkorir passed the 5km point in 13:27 and maintained that pace through to the finish to improve the Romanian all-comers’ record of 28:40 that had been set in Brasov last year. In an exciting end to the race, both Weldon Langat and Isaac Kibet Ndiema crossed the finish line in 26:55, the pair now sitting joint seventh on the world all-time list.
Speaking after the race, Kipkorir acknowledged the great potential of the fast course in Brasov. “I hope that I can challenge the world record here one day,” said the 23-year-old who finished fourth in the 5000m at the Tokyo Olympic Games and won Commonwealth Games silver last month. “The course is very flat and fast.”
Kipkorir led a Kenyan top six and the top seven athletes all dipped under 28 minutes. Finishing 11th, Dorin Andrei Rusu ran 28:38 to improve the Romanian record of 28:53 that had been set by Stefan Iulius Gavril in 2019.
In the women’s race, Commonwealth Games 10,000m bronze medalist Chepkirui achieved a clear win, finishing 23 seconds ahead of her compatriot Agnes Jebet Ngetich, with Uganda’s Sarah Chelangat just a further second behind in 30:31.
Women’s 10km winner Sheila Chepkirui at the Brasov Running Festival (© Organizers)
With her 30:07 performance, Chepkirui, who set her 29:46 PB in a mixed race in Valencia in 2020, improved the Romanian all-comers’ record of 32:12, also set in Brasov last year.
Kenya’s Brenda Tuwei, Faith Cherono and Veronica Loleo were next to finish, while Stella Rutto threatened the Romanian record with her time of 32:04 to secure seventh place.
As a special guest and ambassador of the race, Kenyan marathon great Mary Keitany enjoyed running in the children’s race and presented the medals to the champions.
“I really enjoyed this city, the weather, the atmosphere and the race,” she said during an interview with Romanian media. “It is a great course and excellent conditions for world-class running.”
Organizers for World Athletics
1 Sheila Chepkirui (KEN) 30:07
2 Agnes Jebet Ngetich (KEN) 30:30
3 Sarah Chelangat (UGA) 30:31
4 Brenda Tuwei (KEN) 31:35
5Faith Cherono (KEN) 31:49
6 Veronica Loleo (KEN) 31:52
7 Stella Rutto (ROU) 32:04
8 Sheila Jebiwott (KEN) 32:27
9 Elle Twentyman (GBR) 33:58
10 Liliana Maria Dragomir (ROU) 34:02
1 Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli (KEN) 26:51
2 Weldon Langat (KEN) 26:55
3 Isaac Kibet Ndiema (KEN) 26:55
4 Daniel Kosen (KEN) 27:19
5 Denis Kobet (KEN) 27:35
6 Shadrack Kipchirchir (KEN) 27:44
7 Egide Ntakarutimana (BDI) 27:45
8 Fredrick Yeko Domongole (KEN) 28:07
9 Brian Kwemoi (KEN) 28:11
10 Josphat Meli (KEN) 28:14