In Summary
  • Cheptegei had run neck-to-neck with the top three but fast pace disintegrated the field and he fell off, signs he has to work on his finish.

    Olympic champion Farah won in 13:00.70 and, Kejelcha posted 13:01.21 whereas Kamworor ran 13:01.35.
    The race also had another Ugandan teenager Jacob Kiplimo qualify for London after earning a new personal best (PB) time of 13:13.64. The World junior X-country champion Kiplimo dropped from fifth to finish 12th.

KAMPALA.

Even after a massive let down at the World Cross-country Championships back in March, the signs are clear that Joshua Cheptegei is Uganda’s next big thing on track.

Some 60 days after losing his 200m-lead to finish 30th in the senior men’s 10km race at Kololo, Cheptegei only showed he’s a potent athlete.

The Ugandan runner displayed signs of mental strength and significant recovery to beat a field of 27 runners and finish fourth in the men’s 5000m race at the Eugene Diamond League Meet in Oregon, USA at the weekend.

After a tense finish where he was out powered by Briton Mo Farah, Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha and Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, the 20-year-old posted a time of 13 minutes and 2.84 seconds after the 12-and-a-half-lap race at the Hayward Field.

Regardless, Cheptegei had beaten the qualification standard of 13:22.60 to qualify for the London World Championships due August 4-13.
Considering the field he faced in Oregon will be the same at the London Worlds, Cheptegei knows he’s close to a medal. “It is a good return,” said Cheptegei, the 2014 World junior 10000m champion.

“Fourth place behind established athletes means he is on the right path,” Cheptegei’s manager Jurrie van der Velden told this paper. “We have two months before London so we can adjust and improve.”

Cheptegei had run neck-to-neck with the top three but fast pace disintegrated the field and he fell off, signs he has to work on his finish.

Olympic champion Farah won in 13:00.70 and, Kejelcha posted 13:01.21 whereas Kamworor ran 13:01.35.
The race also had another Ugandan teenager Jacob Kiplimo qualify for London after earning a new personal best (PB) time of 13:13.64. The World junior X-country champion Kiplimo dropped from fifth to finish 12th.

On the same day, three other Ugandans under Jurrie’s Dutch management company Global Sports Communication also qualified for the London Worlds.

First, Stephen Kissa won his first international track race - 5000m - in 13:13.00 at the Oordegem Meeting in Belgium. This is second fastest qualification time by a Ugandan for London after Cheptegei’s in Eugene.

At the same event, teenager Abel Sikowo came third in the 3000m steeplechase in 8:30.15 to beat the standard of 8:32.00. He also qualified for the 2017 World Youth Championships slated for Nairobi, Kenya. Albert Chemutai also qualified in fifth place (8:30.91).

EUGENE DIAMOND LEAGUE
MEN’S 5000M RESULT
1 Mo Farah (GBR) 13:00.70
2 Yomif Kejelcha (ETH) 13:01.21
3 Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 13:01.35
4 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 13:02.84
12 Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) 13:13.64

OORDEGEM MEETING - BELGIUM
MEN’S 800M
1 Mouad Zahafi (MAR) 1:47.64
2 Geoffrey Ruto (UGA) 1:48.18
3 Tony Van Diepen (NED) 1:48.25
WOMEN’S 1500M
1 Esther Chebet (UGA) 4:11.68
2 Katie Snowden (GBR) 4:12.25
3 Charline Mathias (LUX) 4:12.57