Cheptegei, Chesang break African records in Durban
Commonwealth 10,000m champions Joshua Cheptegei and Stella Chesang secured a Ugandan double at the FNB Durban 10K CitySurfRun, producing the fastest times ever recorded on African soil.
Cheptegei won in 27:16 to improve on his own course record by 12 seconds. In second, Switzerland’s Julien Wanders broke Mo Farah’s European record by the same margin, clocking 27:32.
Cheptegei, the world 10,000m silver medallist, set off at a brisk pace and covered the first three kilometres in 8:10. Wanders closed in on Cheptegei at half way, reached in 13:53, but the 22-year-old Ugandan broke away again in the second half and went on to win by 16 seconds.
Kenya’s Moses Koech was third in 27:46, one second ahead of Uganda’s Stephen Kissa. Three weeks after winning the Cape Town Marathon, Stephen Mokoka was the top South African finisher, placing sixth in 28:18.
Like Cheptegei, Chesang made her intentions known at the start of the women’s race. She led compatriot and defending champion Mercyline Chelangat by six seconds at three kilometres and 11 seconds at half way.
Chesang’s winning margin grew to 22 seconds with kilometre to go, and although Chelangat made up a bit of ground in the closing stages, Chesang was away and clear. She won in an African all-comers’ record of 31:14, taking 24 seconds off the national record Chelangat set last year.
Chelangat also finished inside that mark, clocking 31:33 to place second. South Africa’s Irvette van Zyl was third in a PB of 32:06.