Joshua Cheptegei has won Uganda their fourth gold medal at the World Junior championships that started Tuesday in Eugene, America
By Norman Katende
IAAF World Junior Championships
1 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 28:32.86
2 Elvis Cheboi (KEN) 28:35.20
3 Nicholas Kosimbei (KEN) 28:38.68
4 Aferweki Berhane (ERI) 28:45.83
5 Abdallah Mande (UGA) 28:53.77
Joshua Cheptegei has won gold for Uganda at the World Junior championships that started Tuesday in Eugene, America.
The Police runner clocked 28 minutes 32.86 seconds to beat two chasing Kenyans and an Eritrean to win the 10000m event of the World junior meet section after an exciting but slow pace in the wee hours of the morning.
He is the second Ugandan to win a gold emdal over the distance after Boniface Kiprop’s 10000m win in Grosetto, Italy in 2004. Dorcus Inzikuru (2000) and Julius Acon (1994) is the other Ugandan gold medallist.
Favourite before the race because of posting the fastest time this season in the junior category, the Bugema Universality student was cautious from the start, preferring to run behind the Kenyans with the support of his country mate Abdallah Mande.
When early leaders Keisuke Nakatani and Hazuma Hattori from Japan took the lead, he stayed put until Kenya’s Elvis Cheboi decided to take the lead after a slow race, which posted 14 minutes 32 seconds at the half way mark.
Chemboi increased the pace and took the lead after 7000m, when he led another Kenyan Nicholas Kosimbei, Eritrea’s Aferweki Berhane and Mande in pursuit for the top slots.
Though Chemboi was ahead after the bell, Cheptegei stepped up the pace and with 350m to go, he had over taken Chemboi and raced solely to the finishing line.
“Starting slow and finishing fast is how I usually run. I didn't give up. I knew things would change during the race,” Cheptegei said on his first international medal.
“It was a good and mature race for him. He is a disciplined police officer and you could see his planning. The technical committee will now meet and see whether he will be able to double,” said Uganda Athletics Federation general secretary Beatrice Ayikoru.
Uganda is represented by four athletes at the biennial event with Stella Chesang and Philip Kipyeko due to run in the women and men 5000m respectively.
Cheptegei or Mande is expected to beef up Kipyeko’s bid for Uganda’s second medal.
Cheptegei wins gold at World Junior Championships