Four Commonwealth Games editions, four golds. Beat that. Uganda is without doubt the powerhouse of the 10,000m distance.
Joshua Cheptegei’s gold medal in the 25-lap race on Friday ensured that Uganda won gold in the distance for the fourth straight edition.
Cheptegei was quick to mention his colleagues in his post-race comments. “We have shown what we are made of as a country because Kiprop (Boniface) started it in 2006, then Kipsiro in 2010 and 2014,” a delighted Cheptegei told journalists. “Now we have won it here and I’m very proud of my efforts and my country.”
But there was more to Cheptegei’s gold for it was won in the fastest time ever recorded in Commonwealth Games history. “To win it in a Games Record time makes it more special because it was not easy.”
Cheptegei called it the proudest moment of his career after stating that “the gold in Gold Coast was a bigger achievement for him than the 10k silver in London.” In a show reminiscent of the 5,000m rivalry with Canada’s Ahmed, Cheptegei used his famed strong final kick to pull clear of the North American in the final lap.
“With 450m to go, I knew I had him. I knew what to do from there and I was comfortable.”
Cheptegei talked of being happy for having helped Uganda win a third gold medal at the Games and how he stayed behind to help his teammates through the games having initially considered not taking part in Friday’s race.
He is now turning his guns to bigger prizes ahead.
“My focus now is to prepare myself well between now and the Olympics because I want to win more gold medals.” Few would bet against him.
The other Ugandans in the 10,000m final Jacob Kiplimo and Timothy Toroitich crossed the line in decent positions of fourth and seventh. Kiplimo’s time of 27:30.25 was a Season Best time. In the women’s 800m final, Winnie Nanyondo failed to emulate her bronze finish from Glasgow. She was beaten to fourth position after clocking 2:00.38.
The gold medal was won by Caster Semenya.
10,000M COMMONWEALTH GAMES DOMINANCE
UGANDANS THAT HAVE WON 10,000M AT QUADRENNIAL MEET
Melbourne 2006: Boniface Kiprop gold 25:50.99
New Delhi 2010: Moses Ndiema Kipsiro gold 27:57.39
Glasgow 2014: Moses Ndiema Kipsiro gold 27:56.11
Gold Coast 2018: Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei gold 27:19.62
10,000m finish list
1. Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei 27:19.62
2. Mohammed Ahmed (Canada) 27:20.56
3. Rodgers Kwemoi (Kenya) 27:28.66
4. Jacob Kiplimo 27:30.25
5. Jake Robertson (New Zealand) 27:30.90
6. Stephen Moroka (South Africa) 27:44.58
7. Timothy Toroitich 27:47.35