Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei. Photo: Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters
Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei. Photo: Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters

I couldn’t give more than that - Ugandan Cheptegei

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Oct 19, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - As the world record holder over 5000m and 10 000m, Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei was the favourite for the men’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 over the weekend, but he was upstaged by 19-year-old countryman Jacob Kiplimo.

Cheptegei would go on to finish fourth, setting a new personal best time over the distance of 59:21.

“I couldn’t give more than that,” said Cheptegei.

“I have been training more for 5000m and 10,000m so I was not well prepared for it, but I’m very happy – running a sub-60 is really special for me. My body was really going very well but I discovered I still had some fatigue in the legs.”

Ultimately, it was a fantastic kick over the last four laps from Kiplimo which sealed his victory in a new championship record of 58:49, as he beat out Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie (58:54) in second with Ethiopian Amedework Walelegn taking third in 59:08.

In fact, it was the first time that a Ugandan had won a medal in the history of the Half Marathon World Championships. With the rise in Ugandan running, there is certainly expectation that there will be many more medals for Uganda in the near future at the event.

In a race of outstanding quality, the first 10 runners broke 60 minutes, the first time that ever happened at the event and just the second time it has ever happened. And a record 28 men finished inside 61 minutes.

African News Agency (ANA)

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