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Why Cheptegei is set for 5,000m Diamond League glory

By James Bakama

Added 14th August 2020 02:02 PM

Cheptegei goes into tonight’s 5000m race in Monaco as a clear favourite.

Why Cheptegei is set for 5,000m Diamond League glory

Joshua Cheptegei is the man to beat in Monaco

Cheptegei goes into tonight’s 5000m race in Monaco as a clear favourite.

Fact file
Joshua Cheptegei
Born Sept 12, 1996
Club- Uganda Police
Manager- Global Sports Communication
 
Honours
2020- World 5km world record 12:51
2019-World 10,000m champion
2019- World Senior Cross-country champion
2019- Diamond League 5000m champion
2018- Commonwealth 5000 and 10000 champion
2017- World 10,000m silver
2014- World junior 10,000m champion
 
Personal bests
10,0000m- 26:48.36 Doha 2019
5000m-12:57.41 Zurich, 2019
Joshua Cheptegei is undoubtedly one of the most successful Ugandan athletes.

The only missing accolade in his rich collection of titles is an Olympic medal. But going by his form, there are all indications that it is just a matter of time before even this accolade is added to his collection.

He goes into tonight's 5000m race in Monaco as a clear favourite.

But besides being a launchpad to his Olympic dreams, today's race also provides the Ugandan with yet another challenge.

He will be out to break Kennenisa Bekele's 12:37.35 world record set in 2004. Cheptegei's personal best currently stands at 12:57.41 registered at the Oslo the Diamond League last year.

At 9:13 pm Cheptegei and Stephen Kissa will be the first Ugandans in action in the men's 5000 meters.

They will be up against a strong field of ten runners amongst them Kenya's Kimeli Nicholas Kipkorir and Jacob Krop.

Podium places in this 12.5 lap race had until recently been a special preserve of Kenyan and Ethiopian runners. This was until Cheptegei's triumphal arrival last season.

The Ugandan not only won the World Cross-country but also emerged 5000m Diamond League overall champion before also winning the World Championships in Doha.

It is therefore not a surprise that Cheptegei has even warned of a possible world record tonight.

"I am not only going for a win but also a world record," promised the Uganda Police athlete.

Coach Benjamin Njia is also confident his athlete will set a new 5000m mark. "He is on form and has been running great times," stated Njia on Wednesday.

You easily dismiss him until you remember that in February in the same city he shattered the 5km with a time of 12L:51.

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