Switzerland’s Julien Wanders smashed his European 10km record again at the 10K Valencia Ibercaja on Sunday (12) morning.
Behind Rhonex Kipruto’s magnificent world record of 26:24 which shaved 14 seconds off the mark set only last month on a different course in Valencia, Wanders continued his wholesale revision of the European record books by finishing third in 27:13.
Wanders’ time improved his previous mark by 12 seconds which means he has ownership of the three fastest ever times in European distance running history: 27:13 in Valencia, 27:25 in Houilles and 27:32 in Cape Town. He also holds the European records at 5km (13:29) and the half marathon (59:13).
Wanders kept pace with Kipruto until just before the four kilometre mark when the Kenyan cut loose from the leading pack, covering the second half in an audacious 13:01 which brought him comfortably inside Joshua Cheptegei's previous record.
Wanders was also operating on sub-27 minute pace in the early stages as he reached the five kilometre checkpoint in 13:29 to match his European record but he still maintained good pace in the second half. Wanders had the close company of Kenya’s Benard Kimeli in the latter stages with Kimeli narrowly prevailing in a sprint finish for the runner-up spot - 27:12 to 27:13.
"If you don't take risks, you don't get results," he told Swiss athletics website athle.ch after the race. "I am happy to have tried but it was too fast for me today." The limitless Wanders added that his goal in today's race was to break the 27 minute-barrier "but the next time, I will do it. It's certain."
There were fast times en masse with the top eight finishers all breaking the 28 minute-barrier and 29 runners breaking the 29 minute-barrier. France’s world 3000m steeplechase finalist Djilali Bedrani was seventh in a 27:50 PB and world marathon fourth-placer Callum Hawkins placed 11th in 28:02, also a lifetime best.
Former European marathon champion Daniele Meucci set an Italian record of 28:08 in 13th and Juan Antonio Perez was the leading Spanish finisher in 15th in 28:09.
European 10,000m champion Lonah Chemtai Salpeter from Israel was the leading European finisher in the women’s race, finishing fifth in 31:09. For the first time in history, three women broke the 30 minute-barrier in the same race with Kenya’s Sheila Chepkirui winning in 29:46 from teammates Rosemary Wanjiru (29:50) and Norah Jeruto (29:51).