Rudisha, Vlasic IAAF World Athletes Of The Year

Leonard Patrick Komon sets pending world record for 15K.

Written by: David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

There was breaking athletics news from two cities in Europe this morning.

In Monaco at the IAAF World Athletics Gala, Kenya’s David Rudisha and Croatia’s Blanka Vlašić were names the IAAF World Athletes of the Year.  Rudisha, 21, broke Wilson Kipketer’s world record in the 800 meters twice this season, was unbeaten in 12 races over the distance, claimed the African title, and won at the inaugural IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup.  Vlašić, 27, the two-time world champion in the high jump, added a second world indoor title to her collection this year, was unbeaten in seven Samsung Diamond League meetings, won the European title, and also took the IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup in her hometown of Split.

“After breaking two world records in one week, I was hoping to win this,” Rudisha said.

In Nijmegen in the Netherlands, world road 10K record holder Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya set another pending world record on the roads at the ABM AMRO Zevenheuvelenloop 15K.  Komon, 22, clocked 41:13, easily bettering the previous IAAF and ARRS-ratified world marks of 41:29 (41:28.8) set by Kenyan Felix Limo at the same race in 2001.

“Leonard Komen’s 41:13 not only bettered the recognized 15K world record of 41:29, but it was faster than the previous unofficial world best,” commented World Marathon Majors’ statistician Marty Post.  “When (Haile) Gebrselassie ran 44:23 for 10 miles (not an IAAF record distance) at Tilburg on September 4, 2005, he reportedly passed 15K in 41:22.”  That mark could not be ratified because the intermediate distance was either not certified, or proper timing was not in place to capture the mark, correctly (the independent ARRS doesn’t recognize world records achieved en route to longer distances).

Post also points out that Komon’s mark is equivalent to a 26:54 on coach Jack Daniels’s equivalency table, a mark which is ten seconds slower than Komon’s own ratified world 10K record of 26:44.

“So there is still room for improvement at 15K,” Post concluded.

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