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Cheptegei wins gold in Zurich, wants to dethrone Mo Farah

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Cheptegei wins gold in Zurich, wants to dethrone Mo Farah

Joshua Cheptegei, 22 is Uganda’s long distance runner and holder of IAAF Diamond League 5000m title

Uganda’s long distance runner Joshua Cheptegei has won the 5000 metre long-distance race at the Diamond league games in Zurich Switzerland and the corresponding prize of US$50,000 (Approx UGX184m).

He beat Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet into second place while the favorite Yomif Kajelcha, also from Ethiopia managed 6th place.

Joshua Cheptegei’s victory is a major step forward in his preparations for the much bigger World Athletics Championships that will be held in Doha, Qatar next month.

Commenting about his win, Cheptegei said: “In Doha I will not compete in the 5k but the 10k. Winning the gold medal there would be special because I have never won a track gold at World Championships. I planned this race and I expected to win. I will train in the mountains of Uganda until Doha and the good thing is that my coach will be there, too.”

Winning the world cross-country title meant a lot to Joshua Cheptegei. It was redemption for his melt-down at home in Kampala two years ago. It was Uganda’s first senior win at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. And he led his team to a gold medal which was another first.

22-year old Cheptegei has indicated he is now setting his sights on succeeding Britain’s Mo Farah as the long distance race king, a position that has been dominated by Britains Mo Farah who announced his intention to retire.

Speaking in Aarhus, Denmark in April this year, shortly after winning the world cross-country title, Cheptegei made no secret of his ambitions.

“My ambition is to dominate the track for the next five or six years,” Cheptegei says. Then he will consider a move to the marathon. For now, though, track distances, cross country and the half marathon are his – rather generous – limits.

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