Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei Predicts World Domination in Athletics

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– Cheptegei optimistic about Uganda’s future in athletics

– Mentions Kiplimo and other Ugandan athletes

– Cheptegei’s achievements and world records

– Circuit wins and titles

Uganda’s leading athlete Joshua Cheptegei has said that his country has what it takes to continue producing more world stars.

Chepetegi, the reigning 10,000m world champion, said on Wednesday that Uganda continues to produce many youngsters who are getting better and better at the world stage and the future looks bright.

“Me and Jacob Kiplimo have dominated the world scene for some time and this has motivated many youngsters to keep working hard so that they can achieve it at the big stage. I see the future looks very bright for Uganda to have several athletes dominating at the world stage,” added the star athlete.

Cheptegei won 5,000m gold medal and a silver in 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics, while Kiplimo took a bronze in 10,000m at the same event.

“We continue to show a good example that hard work pays off and we also motivate the younger athletes so that they keep working hard to be able to achieve it. We are lucky that there is now a good training place in Kapchorwa, while the Uganda Athletics Federation is working hard to see that it has a good atmosphere to keep improving,” he added.

Uganda’s Other Atheletes

Besides Cheptegei and Kiplimo, Uganda has also produced top athletes in the last 10 years, like London Olympic marathon gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich, Moses Kipsiro, Peruth Chemutai and Halimah Nakaayi.

Cheptegei and Kiplimo are some of Uganda’s top medal prospects at the Paris Olympics from July 26 to August 11.

Joshua Cheptegei Profile

Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei (born 12 September 1996) is a Ugandan long-distance runner. Cheptegei is the current world record holder for the 5000 metres and the 10,000 metres, and holds the world best time over the 15 kilometres distance. 

Cheptegei is the reigning Olympic champion in the 5000 m and the reigning three-time World champion in the 10,000 m. Cheptegei also won a gold medal in the 5000 m and 10,000 m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and at the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

He is a silver medallist in the 10,000 metres at the 2017 World Championships in London. He also competed in the 10,000 metres at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, finishing ninth. He ran at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres, finishing eighth and sixth respectively.

 Cheptegei was the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres champion at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He won silver in the 10,000 metres and gold in the 5,000 metres at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Cheptegei is a four-time winner of the Zevenheuvelenloop 15 km road race in Nijmegen, Netherlands. In 2018, he set the world record for a 15 km road race. Abrar Osman finished second with 42:34 and the 2017 5000 m world champion Muktar Edris placed third with 42:56.

On 19 February 2022, the record was broken by Cheptegei’s compatriot Jacob Kiplimo, who ran a 15 km split of 40:43 min at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.

Cheptegei was the winner of the senior men’s race at the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. He won in 31:40 on the 10.24 km course. Ugandan teammate Jacob Kiplimo finished second in 31:44, while Thomas Ayeko placed seventh and Joseph Ayeko tenth; Uganda won the team first-place title.

World records

On 1 December 2019, he set a new 10 km road race record in Valencia, Spain. His time of 26:38 improved on the previous world record, set by Leonard Komon in 2010, by 6 seconds.

This mark has since been lowered to 26:24, the world record being held, as of October 2020, by Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya, who also incidentally set it in Valencia just six weeks later, on 12 January 2020.

On 16 February 2020, he set a new 5 km road race world record in Monaco with a time of 12:51. The previous ratified record was 13:22, set by Robert Keter on 9 November 2019 in Lille, France, and the previous fastest time ever recorded over the distance was 13:00 set by Sammy Kipketer on 26 March 2000 in Carlsbad, USA. This record stood for nearly two years until broken by Berihu Aregawi, who ran 12:49 at the Cursa dels Nassos meet in Barcelona on 31 December 2021.

On 13 August 2020, a day before the Herculis meet of the Diamond League in Monaco, Cheptegei announced that he aimed to return to the track and run his first official race in the season with a world record time in the 5000 metres, which would be more than 20 seconds faster than his personal best on a track.

At the meet on the next day, with the help of expert pace-making from Roy Hoornweg, Stephen Kissa, and Matthew Ramsden, he set a new world record in the 5000 metres with a time of 12:35.36, which broke Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old record – the longest duration in the history of the event – by almost 2 seconds.

His splits were 2:31.87; 5:03.77; 7:35.14 and 10:05.46. Bekele congratulated Cheptegei from Addis Ababa.

On 7 October 2020, in Valencia, he set a world record time of 26:11.00 in the 10,000 metres, which improved on Kenenisa Bekele’s 15-year-old record by more than 6 seconds.

Circuit wins and titles

Diamond League 5000 metres champion:  2019

2019: Eugene Prefontaine Classic in Stanford (Two miles, WL PB), Zürich Weltklasse (5000 m, PB)

2020: Monaco Herculis (5000 m, WR)

2021: Eugene (Two miles)

2022: Eugene (5000 m)

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