Uganda’s biggest name Joshua Cheptegei takes centre stage on the final day as the country winds up what could also turn out as its most successful outing.
Cheptegei posted 26:48:36 – the best mark achieved worldwide this season – beating a field of 18 athletes, the other three failing to finish.
Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha came second to win silver with 26:49:34 (PB) while Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto finished third to take bronze in 26:50:32.
Cheptegei ran the race with fellow Ugandan Abdallah Mande (finished 17th in 28:31:49), and it’s the latter who set the pace for nearly the first five minutes but later dropped off.
Kenyan duo of Kipruto and Rodgers Kwemoi then took the lead with about 8 laps ran. The duo stuck in there staying close and both kept exchanging positions with Cheptegei.
With about 8400m ran, and 22 minutes gone, Cheptegei overlapped colleague Mande with the leading pack. During the process, Mande went wide to pave way and seemed to chat with Cheptegei urging him to go on and take the lead.
Cheptegei exactly did that with three laps to go. By this time, he was being closely followed by Kipruto and Kejelcha .
When the bell was rung for the last 400m, Cheptegei and Kejelcha started sprinting like no other. Their strides became even longer.
It was Cheptegei’s third major gold medal this year after winning two at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships (team and senior).