Ugandan Cheptegei eyes Commonwealth double gold

By Joseph Kizza

With one gold in the bag already, Joshua Cheptegei has been cleared to participate in the 10,000m final on Friday. Can the Ugandan pull off a double?

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10,000m final - Friday (1:10pm Ugandan time)

'If you can dream it, you can do it', so goes the saying. That is the path that Ugandan Commonwealth gold medallist Joshua Cheptegei is running on.

After successfully beating everyone in the men's 5,000m race last Sunday, the Ugandan athlete can dare dream even further - he has already redirected his focus on yet more glory.

Cheptegei has been cleared to take part in the men's 10,000m final due on Friday.

Again, he will be marked off as one of the favourites in the 25-lap race on the Carrara Stadium track on Australia's Gold Coast in the ongoing Commonwealth Games.

If the 21-year-old Kapchorwa-born runner wins the race, it will mean Uganda has won it back-to-back. Moses Kipsiro won it in the 2014 edition in Glasgow, Scotland.

That very race also featured other Ugandans in the form of Timothy Toroitich (8th) and Moses Kibet (11th).

The trio of Kipsiro, Toroitch and Kibet had also taken part in the 5,000m race, which was dominated by Kenyans.

Fast-forward to present day and yet another crop of young Ugandan athletes have since taken the baton.

Notable among them is Cheptegei, who is a former world junior champion and, as recently as August last year, a world 10,000m silver-medallist.

He has since added Commonwealth gold to his medals cabinet, which could soon welcome a new arrival: Commonwealth 10,000m gold.

Kenya's Wilberforce Talel is the current 10,000m Games record holder (27:45.39).

But the 10,000m world record, set in 2005, is held by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele: 26:17.53.

Last year in London, Chepetegei ran 26:49.94 to finish behind Great Britain's Mo Farah, who did a new world leading time of 26:49.51.

The man who appears to have shaken off memories of his disappointing show at the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships on home soil is now eyeing much, much more glory.

Can he win a double in Australia? Uganda will surely be behind him and his teammates. And the world will certainly be watching keenly.


Cheptegei wins Commonwealth 5,000m gold

Uganda's Cheptegei wins silver in London

Cheptegei wins gold at World Junior Championships