Noah Ngeny finally made the move from runner-up to record-setter.
The Kenyan, who has helped Hicham El Guerrouj shatter records in the mile and 1,500 meters, put himself into the record books Sunday by eclipsing the 18-year-old standard for 1,000 meters at the Rieti Grand Prix II meet.
Paced perfectly by countryman David Kiptoo on a sunny afternoon, Ngeny glided around the track nestled in majestic mountains northeast of Rome in 2 minutes, 11.96 seconds.
That broke former great Sebastian Coe's mark of 2:12.18, set at Oslo, Norway, on July 11, 1981 -- when Ngeny was 2 years old.
"It's amazing this record has been around 18 years," Ngeny said. "I always wanted to be a world champion or an Olympic champion. At least now I am a world record-holder."