Two world records were smashed in Spain in a surprising hour on Wednesday as Nike’s controversial track spikes once again proved to be a game changer for athletes.
The meeting in Valencia was dubbed “World Record Day” by the organizers, and it was quickly delivered as the 22-year-old Ethiopian Letzanpet Kide broke the women’s 5,000-meter record held by Thirunesh Thibaba in 14 minutes 6.62 seconds over four seconds.
Shortly afterwards, 24-year-old Ugandan Joshua Septeji set the men’s 10,000m world record in his 5,000m run the summer before. His 26-minute 11-sec time won the previous best, held by Keniza Beckel since 2005, with an incredible six seconds.
Both recordings sparked controversy and awe, as Guide and Septage wore Nike ZoomX Dragonfly spikes that featured a carbon plate and a distinctive foam, and were charged as “always fast shoes”.
Many in athletics are embarrassed by the spikes – especially the benefit they give to competitors who wear other brands – they are recognized by the world of athletics.
Wavelight technology, which uses incandescent lights to show the speed needed to break records, also helped athletes.
Last month Mo Farah and Hassan Chiffon broke the men’s and women’s one-hour records, and also used high-speed Nike shoes and wavelight technology.
Septeji, who is scheduled to meet Farah at the Tokyo Olympics over the next 10,000 meters next summer, was asked if he would achieve greatness if he set a second world record in two months. “I think this is the foundation for what I want to achieve in the years to come,” he replied.
Kidi, who ran at the same time as Emil Jodobeck when he set the Olympic record at the 1952 Games, was just as excited. “I have dreamed of this achievement for six years and I would like to thank Valencia for giving me this opportunity,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. Before that it was Thirunesh Thibaba, now it is me. ”