Joshua Cheptegei believes that for everything he did not get in 2020, he will certainly achieve this year.
The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics by a year to this July because of the coronavirus pandemic disruptions is delaying him from achieving Uganda’s G.O.A.T (Great Of All Time) tag.
Three world records
With the Olympics off his program last year, Cheptegei ran riot by setting three straight world records (WRs) before taking fourth place and a team gold medal on his 21km debut at the World Half-Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland.
His very first WR came at the Monaco Herculis Run where he broke the 5km mark by 27 seconds to 12 minutes and 51 seconds on February 6, weeks before Covid-19 gripped the globe.
Cheptegei returns to Monaco with much more attention with the goal of retaining his title at the Herculis Run today.
The 24-year-old will be the man to watch again as he seeks to achieve more history.
“My expectations for Sunday (today) is just to do a repeat of last year and keep the things going the way they were like last year,” Cheptegei told this paper before flying out this week. Each of his last two races in Monaco has yielded a WR with the last on August 14, 2020 obliterating Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old 5000m mark to 12:35.36 during the Diamond League Meeting at Stade Louis II.
And Cheptegei just wants more. “That is my philosophy that things go right for me,” he said. “If the body and the conditions allow me, I might be tempted to do the world record,” he added.
Race organisers say that the course route is similar to that of last year and it is faster after adjustments at the end of Quai Albert 1 er.
This event also comes as Cheptegei’s first assignment in the plan to grab 10000m Tokyo Olympic gold as laid out by his Dutch management Global Sports Communication led by manager Jurrie van der Velden and coach Addy Ruiter.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Runner: Joshua Cheptegei
Event: Monaco Herculis Run
Venue: Monaco Principality, France
Finish: Port Hercules
Age of Ugandan star Cheptegei
5K - 12:51 at 2020 Monaco Run (WR)
10K - 26:38 at 2019 Valencia Alfonso 10K (WR)
15K - 41:05 at 2018 Seven Hills Run Nijmegen (WR)
5000m - 12.35:36 at 2020 Wanda Monaco Diamond League (WR)
*WR denotes World Record