Lausanne gives Cheptegei great vibe ahead of Budapest

Cheptegei (C) will make his marathon debut in Valencia, Spain. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Cheptegei showed greater signs of improvement by countering a tedious Ethiopian challenge to finish second over the 5000m race at Stade Olympique de la Pontaise.

Joshua Cheptegei is an accomplished long-distance runner, arguably the greatest of his time on track. World records, global titles, name it, he has them all. To be exact, put that to 22 race wins between 2018 and 2022.

However, now seven months into the year, the Ugandan is yet to win a race. But, it is not a problem. Cheptegei is instead picking up rhythm fast enough ahead of August’s Budapest World Athletics Championships in Hungary.

He flew out of Europe back home on the back of a delightful performance at the Lausanne Diamond League (DL) Meeting in Switzerland on Friday night.

Cheptegei showed greater signs of improvement by countering a tedious Ethiopian challenge to finish second over the 5000m race at Stade Olympique de la Pontaise.

Happy Cheptegei, Chemutai through

The Olympic champion clocked a time of 12 minutes and 41.61 seconds behind winner Ethiopian Berihu Aregawi, who posted a new meeting record and world lead time of 12:40.45.

“12:41.61 for second place at Athletissima. On the right track for Budapest,” Cheptegei said via a post on Instagram.

It came moments after Cheptegei’s training partner Peruth Chemutai had posted a season best time of 9:11.91 in third place over the 3000m steeplechase race to qualify for Budapest. “It was good,” said Chemutai.

“This is what we like to see. Both Joshua and Peruth are on the right track. Both showed themselves well,” their manager Jurrie van der Velden stated.

“I’m happy that Peruth improved a lot and ran without problems below the entry standard (9:23.00). Seven weeks to go (to Budapest) for her to bring the body to the level she had in 2021,” said her coach Addy Ruiter.

Career second fastest 5000m

There is something bigger for Cheptegei. He began the year by surrendering his World Cross-country title to compatriot Jacob Kiplimo in Bathurst, Australia before he lost to the latter again at the New York City Half-Marathon in the USA.

Cheptegei’s first race on track in nine months came on June 2 where he kept back for longer spells before producing a solid fourth place over 5000m in 12:53.81 during the Florence DL in Italy.

On Friday, Cheptegei was more tactical before running his second fastest time over the distance in his career with only his WR mark of 12:35.36 better. Immediately after the gun, he tucked in behind pace makers Polish man Adam Czerwinski and Australian Davies Callum.

Tactical nous 

The Ethiopian quintet of 10000m Olympic champion Selemon Barega, in-form Haile Bekele, two-time 5000m world champion Edris Muktar, experienced Hagos Gebrhiwet and Aregawi were determined to deter Cheptegei from control though.

Czerwinski took the field through 1000m at 2:34.47 and by then, Aregawi, Barega and Bekele were ahead of Cheptegei. Callum took the field through the 2000m mark with clock at 5:09.49 and then a relentless Barega hit the front with seven laps to go.

By now, Aregawi, Bekele, Gebrhiwet and in Barega fourth were ahead of Cheptegei. With four laps to go, Cheptegei kept on the heels of the trio after he had gone past Barega.

Now, the four men had broken away from the rest of the field, coming into the final three laps. When Cheptegei sensed Aregawi and Bekele were beginning to peel away, the Ugandan breezed past Gebrhiwet with two laps to go following a 60.4-second lap.

Solid Aregawi

Inside 600m to go, Cheptegei closed in on Aregawi and upon the bell, he kicked in his light green spikes but the 22-year-old Aregawi in pink spikes hung on in the home straight before the pair embraced upon crossing the finish line.

“Joshua ran a much better race than Florence and that paid off. He is getting close to the level he had in 2020. But the level of his opponents is also higher than ever,” admitted Ruiter.

It is now under 50 days before the Budapest show, where Cheptegei will bid to retain his world 10000m title for a second time.



1 Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN)             9:05.98

2 Sembo Almayew (ETH)                  9:06.82

3 Peruth Chemutai (UGA)               9:11.91

4 Zerfe Wondemagegn (ETH)            9:14.34

MEN’S 5000M

1 Berihu Aregawi (ETH)                    12:40.45

2 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA)              12:41.61

3 Hagos Gebrhiwet (ETH)                  12:49.80

4 Haile Bekele (ETH)                         12:49.81

5 Selemon Barega (ETH)                    13:00.20


Date of birth: September 12, 1996

Major Races: 5000m, 10000m

Personal Bests: 5000m (12:35.36), 10000m (26:11.00)

Coach: Addy Ruiter

Manager: Jurrie van der Velden

Kit Sponsor: Nike


June 30: Lausanne DL (2nd, 12:41.61)

Jun 2: Florence DL (4th, 12:53.81)

Mar 19: New York Half-Marathon (2nd, 1:02:09)

Feb 18: World X-Country (3rd, 29:37)


Dec 31: NN San Silvestre 10K (1st, 27:09)

Jul 24: Oregon Worlds 5000m Final (9th, 13:13.12)

Jul 21: Oregon Worlds 5000m Heat 1 (4th, 13:24.47)

Jul 17: Oregon Worlds 10000m Final (1st, 27:27.43)

May 27: Prefontaine Classic 5000m (1st, 12:57.99)

Mar 6: Cannes 10K (1st, 26:49)


Date of Birth: Jul 10, 1999

Major Event: 3000m steeplechase

Personal Best: 9:01.45

Coach: Addy Ruiter

Manager: Jurrie van der Velden

Worlds Appearances: 11th (Oregon 2022), 5th (Doha 2019), 8th Heat 3 (London 2017)

Major Honours: Tokyo 2020 Olympics (Gold), Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (Bronze), 2018 World U20 Championships (Silver), 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games (1500m Silver & 3000m Silver)


June 30: Lausanne DL (3rd, 9:11.91)

May 5: Doha DL (11th, 9:31.71)


Aug 5: Commonwealth Games (3rd, 9:23.24)

Jul 20: Oregon World Champs - Final (11th, 9:21.93)

Jul 16: Oregon World Champs - Heat 2 (5th, 9:16.66)

Jun 6: FBK Games (1st, 9:14.00)

May 28: Prefontaine Classic (4th, 9:05.54)

May 7: Kip Keino (3rd, 9:20.07)