Uganda’s trending male athlete Joshua Cheptegei has set a new landmark in the world 5000M race following his win yesterday in the 2020 Monaco Diamond League at the Stade Louis II, France.
Joshua clicked 12min 35.36sec to shatter Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele’s previous record that had been in place for sixteen (16) years, keeping consistency of his fine form since clinching 10000M gold at last year’s World Championships in Doha, India.
The delighted Chepetegei revealed that he had always tried to improve on his speed and it took him a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated during this pandemic period but always kept on pushing.
“It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home, but you have to stay motivated….. I pushed myself, I had the right staff with me, the right coach. I’m also usually based in Europe, but being based in Uganda with my family was actually great.” He said.
Running in front of a reduced capacity of 5,000 masked spectators in line with COVID-19 restrictions, music blared out as World Athletics debuted a “bespoke atmosphere creation system” to enhance the experience for the athletes, the spectators and the broadcast audience in the absence of a full crowd.
Right from the start of the race, Cheptegei got his cards right, steadily improving lap after lap. Pacesetter and compatriot Stephen Kissa led by the 3-mile mark before he dropped off for Cheptegei to take over.
Meanwhile in the other races where Ugandans had represented, Halima Nakaayi finished 5th in the 1000M women race won by Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon.