- Commonwealth GAMES. The Kapchorwa-based long distance runner captured Uganda’s 50th ever medal at the Games after destroying the field to win the 5,000m race on a glorious afternoon at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast yesterday.
The Kapchorwa-based long distance runner captured Uganda’s 50th ever medal at the Games after destroying the field to win the 5000m race on a glorious afternoon at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast This time last year, Joshua Cheptegei was a broken man starring in the face of a hazy future. Or so it seemed.
The young athlete was still smarting from the shock of the IAAF World Cross-Country event at Kololo where he snatched a morale-sapping defeat from the jaws of victory in truly bizarre circumstances before a capacity Kampala crowd.
First of many
Internet jokes about his collapse went viral on social and Cheptegei’s world turned into a very lonely, hopeless one. But after securing his first Commonwealth Games gold in the 5000m to add it to his IAAF World Championship 10000m silver, Cheptegei is enjoying a very hearty, last laugh. “This gold medal is just one of the so many that lie ahead,” Chetegei told Daily Monitor at the Carrara Stadium’s Mixed Zone from where he was conducting interviews before a horde of international journalists.
“Last year’s race (the Kololo collapse) has served to inspire me for more and I will continue winning and winning to forget it more and more. I still have a lot of goals to tick.”
Yesterday’s race was not your typically engrossing, neck-and-neck 5000m race often decided by the narrowest of margins.
Cheptegei ran a measured race before raising his tempo with five laps to go and his victory could be seen coming in the final 600m metres.
“I knew I had it all wrapped up going into the final two laps; all I had to do was to keep it easy and get to the finish line,” the former 10000m junior world champion said.
Cheptegei noted that it felt strange competing at this time of the year in a major event considering that the Olympics and World Championship are usually August events.
“I had to revise my training schedule to condition myself for the Commonwealth Games at this time of the year,” he added.
The runner, however, ruled himself out of contention for the 10,000m race, which is his natural race. “I had pre-booked events in Eugene and Doha and will not compete further here,” he explained.
“My schedule could only allow me to compete in the 10k and that is it.”
Team Uganda officials are in advanced negotiations to make their prize runner reconsider his decision. Cheptegei is viewed as a sure bet for a medal in the 10,000m and a strong contender for gold.
Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed was second in the 5,000m with Kenya’s Edward Zakayo settling for third.
Cheptegei’s gold was Uganda’s 14 at the Commonwealth Games and 50th medal at the quadrennial event.
It is by no means Cheptegei’s last medal at the Commonwealth and the Kapchorwa-based runner should add to his tally at the 2022 Games to be staged in Birmingham, England.
Sunday’s triumph also means that Uganda has now won gold in either 5,000 or 10000m at four straight editions.
Weightlifting - Men’s 94kgs
Kalidi Batuusa finished 10th with 275
Women 100m Heat
Scovia Ayikoru finished 4th in 11.86
Ayikoru finished 8th in 11.99 in semi-final
Men 100m Heat
Pius Adome finished 5th in 10.70
Ali Ngaimoko finished 7th in 50.35
Leonard Opiny finished 47th in 47.32
Joshua Cheptegei - 13:50.83 (wins gold)
Thomas Ayeko – 13:54.78 finished 4th
Phillip Kipyeko – 13:59:59 finished 6th
Women’s 400m Rd 1 Heat 1
Leni Shida to run – 3:37am
Women’s 400m Rd 1 Heat 4
Leni Shida to run – 3:51am
Women’s 400m Rd 1 Heat 5
Scovia Ayikoru to run – 3:58am
Women’s 1500m Rd 1 Heat 2
Winnie Nanyondo to run – 12:35pm
Women’s 10000m final – 1:35pm
Stella Chesang to run
Juliet Chekwel to run
Mercyline Chelangat to run
Men’s 50m freestyle heat 2
4:06am – Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza
Men’s 81kg Round of 16
Lukmon L. (Nigeria) vs R. Simbwa at 7:17am
Cheptegei at a glance
Date of Birth: September 12, 1996
Major Races: 5000m, 10000m
Manager: Jurrie van der Velden
Kit Sponsor: Nike