Bekele Betters A Paavo Nurmi Record

Kenenisa Bekele has now held onto the world 5000m and 10,000m records longer than any athlete in history. Photo: IAAF

He’s now the official king of the 5,000m and 10,000m.

Paavo Nurmi’s name doesn’t show up much in the news these days. After all, the “Flying Finn” was last setting distance records in the 1920s. However, on Wednesday, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele broke one of Nurmi’s records: that for the longest period of time someone has held both the 5000m and 10,000m world records.

Bekele, who is 29 years old, set the 10,000m mark (26:20.31) eight years ago and set the 5000m record, 12:37.51, eight days earlier. This means Bekele will have held both records for 2850 days in a row.

Nurmi, on the other hand, had set the 10,000m record on 31 August, 1924, which was added to his 5000m record of 14:28.2 from 19 June of the same year. This totals 2849 consecutive days.

It doesn’t appear that there are any challenges currently planned to take down Bekele’s record. The fastest non-Bekele time in the world for the 10,000m was set by Micah Kogo 26:35.63 six years ago.

The non-Bekele leader for 2011 was 26:43.98.

For More: IAAF

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