The Case For And Against The 2000m World Record

By Kyle Merber

September 13, 2023

Asking for a friend… Is this a good 2000m?

Okay, Jakob was sick! But he’s certainly not anymore. The 2000m is not a regularly run event, but maybe that’s partly because 24 years ago Hicham El Guerrouj ran an incredible 4:44.79 that has been out of reach for any recent mortal. In Brussels last week, Ingebrigtsen ran a 3:48 1600m and then closed in 55.0 seconds to run 4:43.13 – is this foreshadowing the fall of the 3:43.13 mile WR?

Although we definitely need fewer events in track and field, the 2000m is really ideal for those strong milers out there who hate their 800m personal bests. Take out the mixed gender 4×400 or breakdancing and add it to the Olympics! In addition to Norway, there were six other national records that fell and agents everywhere are still scrambling to read the fine print of each contract.

While this result undoubtedly benefited from modern technology (pacing lights, THOSE NEWFANGLED SUPER SHOES, etc.), it shouldn’t be ignored that according to the World Athletics scoring tables, this is the highest-scoring performance of all-time between 800m and the half marathon. And though the fancy number line may not be a perfect science, don’t discount the incredible five-second margin of victory that Jakob had on others who had the same spikes and lights available, alongside the world’s best rabbit up front – the new world record holder in the event.

Okay, maybe we don’t need THIS 2000m…

Changed my mind pretty quickly here! Don’t get me wrong, Beatrice Chepkoech is a stud, and 5:47.42 is faster than anyone else has ever done it – except maybe herself. The 2018 world champion and 2023 silver medalist is the world record holder in the more traditional 3000m steeplechase. But her time of 8:44.32 is pretty damn close to being the same pace.

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Kyle Merber

After hanging up his spikes – but never his running shoes – Kyle pivoted to the media side of things, where he shares his enthusiasm, insights, and experiences with subscribers of The Lap Count newsletter, as well as viewers of CITIUS MAG live shows.