Uganda’s 2020 Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei won gold in the 10,000m race at the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States, becoming the fourth athlete to defend the title back to back having won his first title in Doha, 2019.
Cheptegei joins the elite league of athletes Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia), and Britain’s Mo Fara who have all won the world championship title back to back.
Having led the race for large periods on Sunday, Cheptegei held off all challengers on the final lap at Eugene’s Hayward Field to clock a winning time of 27:27.43.
Kenya’s Stanley Waithaka Mburu came close in second by 47 seconds (27:27:90) while his teammate Jacob Kiplimo finished third short of 54 seconds (27:27:97) from the champion’s time.
Cheptegei’s victory came as sweet revenge on Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega, who beat him to gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I did not aim to run really fast because of the heat, the sun was very strong,” Cheptegei said. “The conditions were kind of challenging. You just have to enjoy the race and see how it is going. Then it was going good.”
Cheptegei added: “I knew that if I get into the last fight, I can control it and I could speed it up. I was able to get stronger and keep it faster and faster.”
Joshua has won many accolades since putting behind his dismal display at Kololo, back then in 2017. He is already an Olympic, world, and double Commonwealth Champion.
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