Joshua Cheptegei wins gold at World Cross Country Championship

Saturday March 30 2019

Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda crosses the finish line to win the Men's senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 30, 2019 in Aarhus, Denmark. Photo by AFP

Uganda's Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei on Saturday won a gold medal at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Cheptegei who won two gold medals in the 5000m and 10,000m races respectively at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, has become the first Ugandan to win gold in the Men's Senior Category at the IAAF World Cross Country Championship.

He edged Ugandan teammate Jacob Kiplimo to claim the east African country's maiden victory in the men's world cross-country championships, Kenyan track star Hellen Obiri winning the women's title.

Cheptegei clocked 31min 40sec around the 10.2km-long course, he and Kiplimo pushing Kenya's double defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor into third (31:55).
"It is an awesome feeling winning here today. Since I missed it last time in 2017 I now reached my mission to return with the gold medal," Cheptegei said.

"It means a lot to me to be the first ever Ugandan to win this title. The course was very hard and difficult but I had a very strong preparation at home in Kampala where the terrain is very similar."
The women's race, over the same distance on the muddy course, was led almost from start to finish by Obiri, 2017 world champion over 5000m, a distance in which she also won Olympic gold in Rio in 2016.

The 29-year-old Kenyan clocked 36:14, just two seconds ahead of Dera Dida, with another Ethiopian, Letensebet Gidey, in third a further 8sec adrift.