Agnes Ngetich: The Double World Record That Wasn’t


Two weeks ago, jaws dropped during the women’s 10k race at the 2023 Brasov Running Festival in Romania as Kenyan runner Agnes Ngetich broke two world records in one race

Ngetich crossed the finish line in Brasov, breaking the women’s 10,000m record with a time of 29:24.

Setting the world record in the women’s 10,000m race was the least of her worries that morning; 

“It is quite a surprise to me…I didn’t expect to break the world record. All I ever wanted was a personal best (PB) of 30:00 or 30:02, but to set a new world record in the women’s 10km was the last thing I expected,” Ngetich said.

Alongside shattering the women’s road 10km record, Ngetich showed she was on a mission from the gun as she came through the halfway point of the race in 14:25.

That time is four seconds faster than the women’s 5k record and set the stage for what was yet to come.

When a world record is broken, World Athletics must re-measure the course to ensure it meets the respective distance. 

This is where Ngetich’s world records find themselves in trouble. 

Following the homologation process for the records set by Ngetich, the course at Brasov was found to be 25 meters short.

It was confirmed that each of the three laps on the World Athletics Elite Label road race was a few meters too short.

As a result, the impressive times put forth by Agnes Ngetich will not be ratified as world records.

running track

Therefore, the women’s road 10km record of 30:01, set by the late Kenyan runner Agnes Tirop in 2021, will remain.

Alongside this, the women’s road 5km record of 14:29, also set in 2021 by Ethiopia’s Senebere Teferi, will stand.

This is not the first time a world record couldn’t be ratified as a result of measurement errors:

In 2017, Bahrani runner Eunice Kirwa ran the Nagoya Women’s Marathon in a record-breaking time of 2:21:17.

Following homologation procedures, World Athletics would not ratify the record as the course was about 500 meters short.

Also in 2017, Kenyan runner Joyciline Jepkosgei set a new world record at the Prague Half Marathon, clocking a time of 1:04:52.

Although her performance was extraordinary and was believed to be a world record, it was later discovered the course was slightly short. As a result, her time was not recognized as a world record.

The organizing committee from the Brasov Running Festival said in a press release that the mismeasured course resulted from “factors beyond our control” and has vowed to assume and address the mistake to ensure the 2024 course is amended.

Ngetich’s response to the news of her records not being ratified was a mix of disappointment and hope.

In a press release, Ngetich states her disappointment that her world records will not be ratified due to technical reasons. She later acknowledges that what she did was still something special and will carry this memory as she continues to compete and express her talent and abilities.

Photo of author
Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.