By Frank Kamuntu
Just within a period of two months, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei has broken two long-standing world records – the 5,000m one on August 14 in Monaco and now the 10,000m one this night in Valencia raising Uganda’s flag higher than never expected.
Cheptegei clocked 26:11:02 at the NN World Record Day event in Valencia, Spain to beat Kenenisa Bekele’s 15-year-old 10,000m record of 26:17.53.
Cheptegei to break this record, it’s an indication that the long-standing athletic record previously set by Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele that had lasted for 15 years ago is now in Uganda’s hands.
The one-off event attended by a few people had pacemakers and the world champion over 10000m ran at record threatening pace almost the entirety of the race before engaging the record-shattering gear over the final 400m.
“This (World Record) only lays a foundation (of greatness),” an excited Cheptegei said in the aftermath.
“(This performance) means something great to me. We are trying to write history on the track again because we want to make people know that the track is still exciting and we want to give it all so that the sports lovers in the world have the benefit of the time by seeing us now,” he added.
There’s little time for Cheptegei to celebrate as he quickly has to switch focus to World Athletics Half Marathon Championships that will be held in Gdynia, Poland on Saturday 17th October.
Congratulations Joshua Cheptegei, Congratulations Uganda