Chemtai clocks 31:39.63 at the Israeli 10,000m Championships

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter

Lonah Chemtai won the 10,000m title at the Israeli Championships in 31:39.63 and also broke the national 5000m record en route. Photo credit: Gil Novak.

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter was the leading European finisher at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia last month, setting a national record of 68:58 to finish 12th.

The 29-year-old transferred that form onto the track with a solo performance at the Israeli 10,000m Championships in Tel Aviv on Thursday (26) evening when she smashed her national record with a European-leading mark of 31:39.63, the second fastest time in the world this year

Chemtai set a slew of national records en route to her 12th place finish at the World Half Marathon Championships last month and she did so again last night. She was on schedule to break the 31-minute barrier at the 5000m checkpoint in 15:26.8 which was comfortably inside the national record of 16:07.03 and the 15:40 qualifying standard for the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.

"I'm happy for my race today at the Israeli 10,000m Championship. My first goal was to test my ability to run the first 5000m fast and then to see what happened. I'm happy that I broke both Israeli records in the same race,” said Chemtai.

“I want to thank the Israeli Athletic Association for the support and for all of my fans. Now, I am looking forward to the European Championships.”

Her next target is the European 10,000m Cup in London on 19 May which will be staged in conjunction with the Night of the 10,000m PBs. Chemtai finished eighth in last year’s event which was held in warm and humid conditions in Minsk in 33:20.16.

Chemtai represented Israel in the marathon at both the 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 IAAF World Championships but she seems to have found her niche over the shorter distances, having already set national records at all distances from 3000m up to the half marathon in the first four months of the season.

Chemtai moved from Kenya to Israel in 2009 to become the nanny for the family of the Kenyan ambassador. Chemtai married her coach Dan Salpeter, an international runner himself, in 2014 and was granted Israeli citizenship in 2016.