Cheptegei wins gold medal at World Cross Country

By James Bakama

Cheptegei led a 1-2 Uganda finish with team-mate Jacob Kiplimo close at his heels in the Danish City of Aarhus.

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Joshua Cheptegei celebrates after winning the Men's senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. AFP PHOTO
 
DENMARK - Joshua Cheptegei has won Uganda’s first ever World Cross Country senior men’s gold medal.
 
It was sweet revenge for Cheptegei as he recovered from a disastrous outing at the last edition to emerge champion.
 
Cheptegei led a 1-2 Uganda finish with team-mate Jacob Kiplimo close at his heels in the Danish City of Aarhus.

 Cheptegei crosses the finish line to win the Men's senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. AFP PHOTO

It was also a huge result for teenager Kiplimo, a junior gold medalist at the last edition in Kampala, who only started running as a senior in November.
 
“I missed it in Kampala so I badly wanted it in Aarhus. It’s good that I have won,” stated Cheptegei after a close race on a challenging course.
 

 Joshua Cheptegei at the World Cross Country in Kampala in 2017 where he finished in the 30th place. PHOTO: Richard Sanya

Finishing third on the tough course of grass, mud, sand, and watercourse, was two-time champion Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya.
 
It was undoubtedly Uganda’s best performance in the biennial event.
 
Oscar Chelimo had earlier given Uganda bronze in the men’s U-20 race while Sarah Chelangat was fourth in the U-20 women just like senior woman Rachael Chebet.
 
Equally impressive also in fourth place was the Dorcus Ajok, Daniel Kiprop, Sylvia Chelangat, and Ronald Musagala quartet.
 
Uganda’s best performance at senior level until today had been Moses Kipsiro’s silver in 2009 in Jordan.
 
PAST WINNERS
 
1973 Pekka Päivärinta Finland    
 
1974 Eric de Beck Belgium           
 
1975 Ian Stewart Scotland           
 
1976 Carlos Lopes Portugal
 
1977 Léon Schots Belgium           
 
1978 John Treacy Ireland             
 
1979 John Treacy Ireland             
 
1980 Craig Virgin United States
 
1981 Craig Virgin United States
 
1982 Mohammed Kedir Ethiopia              
 
1983 Bekele Debele Ethiopia      
 
1984 Carlos Lopes Portugal
 
1985 Carlos Lopes Portugal
 
1986 John Ngugi Kenya
 
1987 John Ngugi Kenya
 
1988 John Ngugi Kenya
 
1989 John Ngugi Kenya
 
1990 Khalid Skah Morocco
 
1991 Khalid Skah Morocco           
 
1992 John Ngugi Kenya
 
1993 William Sigei Kenya              
 
1994 William Sigei Kenya              
 
1995 Paul Tergat Kenya
 
1996 Paul Tergat Kenya
 
1997 Paul Tergat Kenya
 
1998 Paul Tergat Kenya
 
1999 Paul Tergat Kenya
 
2000 Mohammed Mourhit Belgium        
 
2001 Mohammed Mourhit Belgium        
 
2002 Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia  
 
2003 Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia  
 
2004 Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia  
 
2005 Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia  
 
2006 Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia  
 
2007 Zersenay Tadese Eritrea    
 
2008 Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia
 
2009 Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam Ethiopia   
 
2010 Joseph Ebuya Kenya           
 
2011 Imane Merga Ethiopia        
 
2013 Japhet Kipyegon Korir Kenya           
 
2015 Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor Kenya
 
2017 Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor Kenya