Joshua Cheptegei will not be competing in tonight’s 5,000m heats. The 10,000m silver medalist withdrew after failing to recover from spiking sustained in his earlier race in the competition.
“The shin and his feet were bruised,” Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) president Dominic Otuchet said on Tuesday.
“Immediately after the 10,000m race he felt confident that he would be fully recovered for the 5,000m heats but it looks like he has not made it,” Otuchet added.
Cheptegei had told Daily Monitor on Monday afternoon that his involvement in the 5,000m was subject to a late fitness test.
It was apparent he wanted to run in the event but wasn’t sure his body would recover in time.
The Kenyan pair of Paul Kipngetich Tanui and Bedan Karoki Muchiri used aggressive tactics against eventual winner Mo Farah and Cheptegei but their efforts weren’t rewarded.
Twice an off-balance Farah stepped out of the track but both instances were correctly attributed to Tanui and Muchiri.
“We could have appealed to IAAF, which would have meant gold for Cheptegei but the truth is that it would have been unfair because Farah was also a victim,” the UAF boss observed.
With Cheptegei out, the focus will fall on 16-year-old Jacob Kiplimo who won gold in the juniors category at the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships in Kampala.
Kiplimo is very much a star for the future but will be keen to make a mark at his first World Athletics Championhip.
The other Ugandan in the 5000m heats is team captain Stephen Kissa with a season best time of 13:13.00, also his personal best. Kiplimo’s personal best time is also his season’s best - 13:13.64.
Defending champion Mo Farah is the overwhelming favourite to win 5,000m gold. Tonight’s heat and Saturday’s final will be his two final races on the track before he ventures into marathon running on a full time basis.
Cheptegei is among the names expected to vie for his crown starting with next year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia and the next World Athletics Championships to be staged in Doha, Qatar in 2019.
TODAY’S SCHEDULE IN LONDON
3,000mSC (women’s heats) - Peruth Chemutai (9.05pm, SS8)
5,000m (men’s heats) - Jacob Kiplimo, Stephen Kissa (10.05pm, SS8)