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Cheptegei, Kiplimo Head Uganda’s Olympics Long Distances Team :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Cheptegei, Kiplimo Head Uganda’s Olympics Long Distances Team

Uganda has assembled a team of over 10 long distance led by the two star athletes. Besides Jochua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo, the team comprises Albert Chemutai 3,000M Steeplechase, Peruth Chemutai 3,000M – St’chase, Esther Chebet (10,000M), Steven Kissa(10,000M), Stella Chesang (5,000M), Sarah Chelengat (5,000M), Benjamin Kiplagat (3,000M St’chase), Racheal Zena Chebet (1,0000M), Oscar Chelimo (5,000M).
Kiplimo-Cheptegei. Courtsey Picture

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Uganda’s long distance running team in the forthcoming summer Olympic games will be headed by two world champions, Joshua Cheptegei and new kid on the block Jacob Kiplimo.

The official kickoff of the summer games is 24th July however the athletics discipline is slated for 30th of July where Uganda will assemble a team of over 19 athletes to compete for medals .

 

The two world champions qualified for a double in the Tokyo games; both will take part in the highly competitive 10,000m and the 5,000 races after beating the qualifying standards.

Uganda has assembled a team of over 10 long distance led by the two star athletes. Other athletes in the team are Albert Chemutai 3,000M Steeplechase, Peruth Chemutai 3,000M – St’chase, Esther Chebet (10,000M), Steven Kissa(10,000M), Stella Chesang (5,000M), Sarah Chelengat (5,000M), Benjamin Kiplagat (3,000M St’chase), Racheal Zena Chebet (1,0000M), Oscar Chelimo (5,000M). 

All eyes will be on world champion Joshua Cheptegei and his compatriot Jacob Kiplimo who will be leading Uganda's long distance team in the summer games. In the 10,000m race the duo will be joined by Steven Kissa while in 5,000m, they will be joined by youngster Oscar Chelimo.

Cheptegei at glance  

Cheptegei holds world record in the 10,000m race which stands at 26:11.00 as well as the 5,000m race world record which stands at 12:35.36 while youngster Jacob Kiplimo holds the second best timing in the half marathon which 57:37.

  

The star athlete began his elite career in at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics in the United State of America when he won Gold in the 10,000M race posting 28:32.86 before he won the African Junior championship later in 2015 in the same race.

Cheptegei later scooped Gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in both the 5,000m where he posted 13:50.83 and the 10,000m race where he posted 27:19.62.  In 2018 Cheptegei won gold at 10kmoisting 31:40 before he scooped Gold once again in the 10,000m race in 2019 at world Championships in Doha, Qatar, here he posted a world leading and personal best 26:48.36.

The 2020 Olympic will be Cheptegei’s second appearance in the world’s leading international sporting events. The long distance runner finished 6th in the 2016 games where posted a personal best of 27:10.06 behind elite long distance runner Mo Farah who won Gold at 27:05.17.   In that race, Cheptegei was backed up by Moses Kurong and Timothy Toroitich who came 22nd and 23rd respectively in the 10,000m race. Cheptegei also finished 8th in the 5,000m. However, in the 2020 edition Cheptegei will be backed up by Jacob Kiplimo and Steven Kissa 

Jacob Kiplimo at Glance

Just like Cheptegei, Kiplimo will also be competing in a double, both in the 5,000m and 10,000, this makes it a formidable force for Uganda in the summer games. At age 16, Kiplimo won his first gold in the men's U20 race at the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, the country's first ever gold medal at a World Cross.  In 2020 Kiplimo won the 5000 m run in Ostrava on 8 September in a time of 12:48.63 before he won the Half Marathon World Championship in a time of 58:49 on 17 October 2020.  

Kiplimo holds the seventh fastest 10,000m time after he scooped the race at the 60th Ostrava Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, where he posted a personal best of 26:33.93. in the 5,000m. Kiplimo is 13th in the world at 12:48.63. He set this time when he won the 5000 m run in Ostrava on 8 September 2020.   The double Joshua and Kiplimo will line up against Ethiopia’s 10,000m trio Berihu Aregawi whose personal best is 26:50.37, Selemon Barega whose personal best is 26:49.46 and Yomif Kejelcha. In the same race Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor whose personal best is 26:52.65 and Rogers Kwemoi whose is 26:55.36 will be up to challenge Uganda’s trio.

Meanwhile, Uganda’s hope in the middle distance was raised recently after elite athlete and four-time Olympic champion failed to qualify for the Olympic Games. Farah, 38, missed the 10,000m selection time by 19 seconds at a cold and windy British Championships in Manchester. Mo Farah had previously won both 5,000m and in 10,000m in both the 2012 and 2016 summer games. This comes as a relief for Joshua Cheptegei who currently holds the world record in both races.

The third batch of Ugandan Olympians is expected to depart on 25th. Coach Gordon Ahimbisibwe who is handling the athletes in a bubble camp in Kapchorwa told Uganda Radio Network that the athletes are in good shape and the training is going on well.

 

//Cue in: we are in … 

Cue out: … going on well”//  

Joshua Cheptegei believes it will be hard to compete in a double however he believes he has had good preparations for the games and he hopes for a medal. 

//Cue in: I know its ...

Cue out a gold medal”//

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