- Commonwealth Games. In every sense, Cheptegei is the run away favourite to add tonight’s 10,000m gold to the 5000m medallion he won on Sunday.
- But in sport, it is never over till it’s over and the IAAF world championship silver medalist must confound his fast-diminishing critics to achieve a historic double haul.
Joshua Cheptegei, with one gold medal in the 5,000m already sewn up, is remaining as modest and calm as he can be ahead of tonight’s 10,000m men final.
He is viewed by observers as overwhelming favourite to add 10,000m gold to his 5,000m triumph but the athlete is keeping his feet on the ground. “I will try to do my best tomorrow,” the long distance star told Daily Monitor. “It will not be easy but I will give it my all.”
Cheptegei, who initially objected to doing the 10,000m, will emulate Moses Ndiema Kipsiro’s 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games feat if he strikes gold.
Kipsiro was the first man in more than 70 years to win both the 5,000 and 10,000m races at the Commonwealth Games.
“If it happens, I will be the happiest man in the world,” he observed yesterday.
Already the 10,000m World Championship silver medalist, double gold for Cheptegei at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast will catapult him into one of the abiding memories of the 2018 Games.
And the feat would complete redemption for the runner who was a laughing stock in Uganda after spectacularly failing to win the IAAF World Cross-country men’s senior race after building a massive lead with a few metres to the finish line.
“I will win as many gold medals as I can because that moment (IAAF world cross-country) has made me hungrier,” Cheptegei said on Sunday.
Uganda’s team tactics, so impeccable for Cheptegei in the 5,000m final and for Stella Chesang in the women’s 10,000m, will once again be needed against the Kenyan trio of Rodgers Kwemoi, Josphat Bett Kipkoech and Jonathan Muia Ndiku.
There will be an eye-catching sideshow for Team Uganda with Ronald Musagala competing in the men’s 1,500m heats before later taking part in the steeplechase final. Then Uganda’s middle distance stars Dorcus Ajok and Winnie Nanyondo will fancy their chances of grabbing a medal in the women’s 800m final. The nation will wait with abated breath.
*10,000m final tonight (2:10pm)
*Men’s 1500m – Round 1 –
Heat 2 (4:46am)
*Steeplechase final (12:30pm)
*Women’s 800m final (1:45pm)
Juma Miiro vs. Amit (India)
Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei