Joshua Cheptegei broke the 5KM world record in Monaco. (Etienne Fiacre)

Starting his 2020 racing year with a flash of lightning speed, Joshua Cheptegei smashed the 5km world record by clocking 12:51 mins* at the Monaco Run 5km.

The 23-year-old Ugandan broke the event’s 13-minute barrier from the previous record of 13:18 set by Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto in January, which is pending ratification. His fastest split of the race was in the first kilometre at 2:31.

Second place Jimmy Gressier of France finished in 13:18 to break the European record of 13:29 set by Julien Wanders in this race last year. Meanwhile, Nick Goolab of Great Britain completed the podium in 13:27.

The fastest time ever recorded for the distance was set by Sammy Kipketer in 13:00 recorded in USA 2000, well before the 5km became an official world record event in November 2017.

*pending the usual ratification procedures