DOHA. Joshua Cheptegei matched his favourite-tag by beating a 21-man field to win the men’s 10000m final as the IAAF World Athletics Championships came to a close at the Khalifa International Stadium here in the Qatari capital on Sunday night.
Cheptegei grew his status further by delivering the gold in a time of 26 minutes and 48.36 seconds as Ugandans fans cheered on the opposite end of the finish-line.
Credit will also go to his counterpart Abdallah Mande who gave Cheptegei the fine start over the first 3000m but he finished 17th in 28:31.49.
With the stadium’s attention split over the men’s javelin throw final and the women’s long jump final, Cheptegei gathered their attention when the front eight-man pack entered the final three laps.
He took the lead and never looked back at that stage, holding off the lanky Ethiopian foe Yomif Kejelcha in the final stretch. It is his fourth medal in a space of 17 months.
Cheptegei added to the 5000m and 10000m titles won at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia in April last year.
Back on March 30, he had claimed the men’s 10km title at the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.
IAAF Council Member Vivian Gungaram presented the medal to Cheptegei and the country’s anthem played for the fourth time in Worlds’ history right before the last track event, the men’s 4x400m relay final.
Uganda now has eight medals in World Championships’ history.
MEN’S 10000M FINAL RESULT
1 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 26:48.36
2 Yomif Kejelcha (ETH) 26:49.34
3 Rhonex Kipruto (KEN) 26:50.32
17 Abdallah Mande (UGA) 28:31.49
CHEPTEGEI AT A GLANCE
Date of birth: September 12, 1996
Major Races: 5000m, 10000m
Manager: Jurrie van der Velden
Kit Sponsor: Nike
Personal Bests: 5000m (12:59.83), 10000m (26:49.94)
CHEPTEGEI’S MEDAL CABINET
2014 World University X-Country Gold
2014 World Junior 10000m Gold
2015 Africa 10000m Gold
2017 World 10000m Silver
2018 Commonwealth 5000m Gold
2018 Commonwealth 10000m Gold
2019 World Cross-country Gold
2019 Diamond League 5000m Trophy
2019 World 10000m Gold