WA Certfies Diribe Welteji’s Road Mile World Record

A World record set in the road mile by Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji at the World Athletics Road Running Championships Riga 23 has been ratified, the governing body of the sport announced today.

Diribe headed to the Latvian capital off the back of taking world 1500m silver in Budapest. World record-holder and world champion Faith Kipyegon started as the overwhelming favorite and looked to be on course for victory for most of the way.

But in the second half of the race, Kipyegon started to look as though she was struggling to maintain the pace. Meanwhile, Diribe and her fellow Ethiopian Freweyni Hailu were poised to strike just a few strides behind.

In the closing stages of the race, Diribe and Freweyni made their move and went past Kipyegon with Diribe kicking to victory in 4:20.98.

Her performance took almost seven seconds off the previous ratified world record of 4:27.97, set by USA’s Nikki Hiltz in Des Moines on 25 April 2023.

“It was hard, the weather was not good for me,” Diribe. “When I saw Faith in front, near the line, at that moment I decided to sprint. I could sense that she was tired, and I had it in my mind: ‘I can beat her.’ I came here to win, to write history and to motivate the new generations of our athletes.” – WA

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