Israeli runner breaks European record for women’s 10K
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Israeli runner breaks European record for women’s 10K

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter completes race in the Netherlands in 30:04, beating old record set 16 years ago by 17 seconds, as she prepares for 2020 Olympics

Screen capture from video of Israeli runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter winning the Florence Marathon and setting a new Israeli women's record for the distance, November 25, 2018. (YouTube)
Screen capture from video of Israeli runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter winning the Florence Marathon and setting a new Israeli women's record for the distance, November 25, 2018. (YouTube)

Israeli runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter broke a European record for the women’s 10K, finishing a race in the Netherlands on Sunday in 30 minutes and four seconds.

She passed the UK’s Paula Radcliffe, who had held the record since 2003, when she finished the 10K in 30:21.

Speaking to reporters after her first-place finish, Chemtai said she was “pleased” with her performance, but not surprised, given the intensity of her training for the World Championships in Doha later this month.

“I’m happy that I broke the European record, and I’m heading in the right direction,” Chemtai said.

Last year, Chemtai won the Florence Marathon, crossing the finishing line in 2:24:17, and smashing the previous record of 2:35:59 set two years ago by Elena Dolinin.

Chemtai already held the Israeli records for 1,500, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters, and the half marathon.

That race was only the fifth time Chemtai had competed in a marathon and it set her on course to compete in the event in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

Born in Kenya, Chemtai moved to Israel in 2011 and fought for citizenship for years.

She originally came to Israel in 2008, as a nanny for a diplomat at the Kenyan embassy. A keen runner, she was introduced to Israeli coach Dan Salpeter, and the two fell in love.

When her stint working for the Kenyan diplomat was up, Chemtai returned to Kenya, where the couple decided to marry in hopes of later moving to Israel. They now have a young son.

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