By Spy Uganda
Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei has become the fourth man in history to win three successive world 10,000m titles as he eased home in Budapest, in Hungary on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Ugandan timed 27min 51.42sec to take the title with Daniel Ebenyo of Kenya second with a time of 27:52.60 and Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega filled bronze medal position in 27:52.72.
Cheptegei raced into the lead in the last 400 meters, and brushed off a late challenge from Olympic champion Selemon Barega to win gold.
The world record holder over 5000m and 10,000m has had an injury-hit year and struggled to hit his top form but, on a hot, humid night in Budapest he broke clear approaching the bell and stamped his authority over the field with a 53-second last lap to come home in 27:51.42.
World Athletics awards the gold medal winners with a substantial prize of $70,000 (equivalent to about Shs256 million), an amount that has already hit Cheptegei’s bank account.
At the same time, the silver medalist receives $35,000 (approximately Shs128 million), and the bronze medalist takes home $22,000 (about Shs81 million).
This prize distribution extends to the eighth-placed athlete in the race.
Adding to his remarkable achievements, the three-time consecutive 10,000m gold medalist, Cheptegei, will proudly represent Uganda in the 5,000m finals alongside his compatriot and bronze medalist, Oscar Chelimo.
In an accolade that secures his place in history, Cheptegei joins the exclusive ranks of track legends, including Great Britain’s Mo Farah, who claimed the world title in 2013 (Moscow), 2015 (Beijing), and 2017 (London).
Remarkably, Cheptegei and Farah stand one title away from matching the remarkable achievement of the Ethiopian duo, Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele, who each secured the world title four times.
Uganda’s celebrated star athlete, Halimah Nakaayi, is set to commence her campaign in the 800m heats on Wednesday, aiming to reclaim her prestigious 2019 Doha World Athletics gold medal.
As she steps onto the track, the nation eagerly awaits her performance and wishes her the best in her pursuit of glory.