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Cheptegei taking it easy ahead of the Olympics in Tokyo

By Charles Mutebi

Added 9th January 2020 10:49 AM

Joshua Cheptegei will be the favourite for 10000m gold at the Games that will be held in Japan from July 24 to August 9

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Uganda’s Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei (C gold), Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed (L silver), Kenya’s Rodgers Kwemoi (bronze) pose with their medals a day after the atheltics men’s 10000m final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAEED KHAN

Joshua Cheptegei will be the favourite for 10000m gold at the Games that will be held in Japan from July 24 to August 9

 

The pressure is on but so is an Olympic gold medal. Or two!

So, what’s the plan for Joshua Cheptegei? Well, a low-key build-up with a single competitive outing before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Oh yes, he is also sure he will run the 10000m. For now at least.

“I will only compete in the World half marathon in March before the Olympics,” Cheptegei told New Vision Sports yesterday from his training base and home in Kapchorwa.

  enyas edan aroki uchiri gandas oshua iprui heptegei ritains o arah and enyas aul ipngetich anui compete in the final of the mens 10000m athletics event at the 2017  orld hampionships at the ondon tadium in ondon on ugust 4 2017     drian (L-R) Kenya's Bedan Karoki Muchiri, Uganda's Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei, Britain's Mo Farah and Kenya's Paul Kipngetich Tanui compete in the final of the men's 10,000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS

 

The reigning 10000m world champion and world cross country champion is bracing himself for the time of his life as looks ahead to an Olympic quest that could rewrite the record books and immortalise his legend.

Cheptegei will be the favourite for 10000m gold at the Games that will be held in Japan from July 24 to August 9 but he is still mulling about competing in the 5000m too, a decision that would stretch him but also put him in position to become the first Ugandan to win two Olympic medals, moreover at the same event.

It is a tantalising prospect but for now Cheptegei is still weighing the pros the cons.

“For now I can only confirm I will run the 10000m,” Cheptegei said.

ritains o arah  runs ahead of gandas oshua iprui heptegei to win the final of the mens 10000m athletics event at the 2017  orld hampionships at the ondon tadium in ondon on ugust 4 2017     drian  Britain's Mo Farah (R) runs ahead of Uganda's Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei to win the final of the men's 10,000m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London on August 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS

 

Cheptegei opted out of the 5000m at the 2019 World athletics championship despite winning the star-studded IAAF Diamond League 5000m Final, with what would be a better time than IAAF World Athletics Championships 5000m gold medallist Muktar Idris.

Clearly, Cheptegei is tempted to go for both races even though doing so would mean piling 10000m on his mileage before competing in his favourite 10000m race.

Britain’s Mo Farah, who did the Olympic 5000m and 10000m double back-to-back is returning to the track for the Olympic 10,000m while there is no shortage of Kenyans or Ethiopians baying for Cheptegei’s blood.

But for a man who runs from the front, the thump of chasing pack will be music to the ears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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