"Looking back at the race now, I can say that it is now in the past and I am looking forward to the new challenge ahead of me."
KAMPALA - Joshua Cheptegei has turned his attentions to the upcoming world half marathon in the Polish city of Gdynia, which will be his debut event.
He paid a courtesy call on the Uganda Athletics Federation, where he was welcomed by federation president Dominic Otucet following his heroics in Monaco where he set a new 5km world record on Sunday.
“For me, I believe one event leads to another. This one is now in past tense. I am now looking towards the world half marathon,” said the 23-year-old athlete. It will be his maiden world half marathon.
He became the first man to run below 13 minutes with his tim of 12:51, smashing the previous world record of 13:18 set by Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto.
Cheptegei said his preparation before the race was geared towards breaking the world record.
“I have been doing smart training with the help of my coach from the Netherlands [Addy Ruiter] and coach [Benjamin] Njia.
"It is not a surprise for me really that I was going make a world record. Looking back at the race now, I can say that it is now in the past and I am looking forward to the new challenge ahead of me,” said Cheptegei.
He has since returned to the country and will prepare for the world half marathon set for March 29 in Poland.
In the last 12 months @joshuacheptege1— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) February 18, 2020
• became world cross country champion
• won 5000m @Diamond_League final
• became 10,000m world champion
• set 10km WR of 26:38
• set 5km WR of 12:51
In 2020 he says "I want to go and make history"
📰: https://t.co/f8NWbu40uP pic.twitter.com/C4bqkKf0sE
The World Cross Country champion is preparing for a gargantuan season, where he is favoured to pick up an Olympic medal in the 5000m and 1000m races.
“The Olympics are just around the corner and they should not be underrated. I am really looking forward to it and I pray that I remain in good health and I pray that more support from the government is given to us and all other factors constant,” he said.
Cheptegei is not expected to take part in the Source of the Nile half Marathon this Sunday, but has already been added to the list of competitors for the world event in March.
“Joshua is one of the athletes that wants to run in the world half marathon, so we have selected him and we think it’s good to have a big name like Joshua in the team,” said UAF boss Otucet.
UAF is determined to revive the Source of the Nile Marathon, which was last organized in 2012.
Congratulations to @joshuacheptege1 who has set a new world record in the 5km race at the Monaco Run. Uganda is proud of you and we look forward to even greater performances, especially at the @Tokyo2020 Olympics. pic.twitter.com/j0te7l4hrx— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) February 16, 2020