JOSHUA CHEPTEGEI Shatters 10K World Record
African athletes have dominated the world of distance running like it is the realm of their birth right. Their dominance in distance running also chronicles the amazing tales of outstanding individuals, who are breaking barriers to go beyond their limit to break world records one after another. The 15K World Record holder and the current 10,000m World Champion from Uganda Joshua Cheptegei was in a blistering form to break the 10K World Record by clipping 6 seconds from Kenyan Leonard Komon’s previous World Record established in 2010.
On the 1st of December 2019, Joshua Cheptegei took the pack with superb confidence right from the word go at Valencia 10K race. Cheptegei’s pace was so fierce that, instead of the pacers leading him, he was leading and coaxing them to pace up. By the 4km-mark, it was becoming difficult for the pacers to keep up Cheptegei’s pace. Before the 5km-mark, Cheptegei left the last pacer out of breath to race past him. The Ugandan was simply unstoppable!
From the 5km-mark, Cheptegei maintained his World Record pace with sheer determination. He was so ahead from the trailing pack, that when he crossed the finish line to break the World Record clocking 26:38, there was no sight of the trailing pack. The 23-year-young Ugandan running sensation clipped 6 seconds from the Kenyan World Record holder Leonard Komon’s 26.44.
Joshua Cheptegei’s fellow compatriot Kevin Kibet finished second clocking an impressive 28:19 to make 1-2 for Uganda. Sweden’s Mohammad Reza Abootorabi clocked 28:35 to pick up the Bronze medal. Kevin Kibet is two years younger to Joshua Cheptegei and has a bright future in distance runner. All the three podium finishers picked up the prize money of €1,500 each for clocking well below the regulated time of 28:42.
Pacers’s role has become very demanding in recent years, because of super talented athletes, who are breaking World Records at an amazing rate. Before the beginning of the race, Joshua Cheptegei had expressed his intention to go for the World Record. The trio of Roy Hoornweg, Stephen Kissa and Abdallah Mande did a splendid job as pacers. However, they simply couldn’t match the blistering pace of Cheptegei.
The Dutch pacer Roy Hoornweg clocked 2:42 for the opening kilometer. Cheptegei immediately moved ahead of the pacers and demanded a faster pace from them. The trio then took to their responsibilities with the second km split of 2:40. Hoornweg was the first to drop out as the Ugandan pacers Kissa and Mande took over the command. Cheptegei along with Kissa and Mande clocked 7:57 at the 3km-mark to be well inside the World Record time.
The fourth km was clocked at 2:41. Cheptegei was in superb form as he gained over the two pacers to leave them behind at 5km-mark clocking an outstanding 13:23. In the second half, Cheptegei ran the race all alone at a blistering pace. He kept pushing himself to cover the 8km-mark in 21:37. By the 9km-mark, the Ugandan running machine was well within the World Record mark. He kept looking at his watch time and again to increase his pace further.
It was a historic World Record run for Joshua Cheptegei and Uganda. Uganda Athletics Federation President Dominic Otuchet enthused, “We are happy that Cheptegei has completed the season in style and continued to raise the Ugandan flag high.”
After the race, in an interview Joshua Cheptei enthused, “World Cross Country Champion in Denmark, 10,000m World Champion and now the World Record here in Valencia, what a year it has been! I can’t believe it! I knew that Valencia was going to be a really fast course, one of the fastest in the world. So to get to achieve what we came here for is something really special. This year has made me so happy!”
Coach Addy Ruiter must surely be proud of his pupil, who has made him proud winning the World Cross Country title, become the 10,000m World Champion and breaking the 10K World Record. It is truly remarkable for Coach Addy Ruiter to see his amazing pupil’s hard work, dedication, determination, sacrifices and the will to excel fetch him greatness in the world of distance running. Joshua Cheptegei crossed the finish line happy showing his long tongue and sparkling eyes to have achieved, what he had set out for – the 10K World Record.
Cheptegei was seen hugging his team members with joy. The Ugandan shattered the previous World Record of 26.44 held by Kenyan Leonard Komon established in the year 2010 at Utrecht. The young athlete has dominated the track and the road over the 10K distance. It will be interesting to see, who would break his World Record in coming months or years. On the 18th of November 2018, Cheptegei broke the 15K World Record clocking 41:05 at the Seven Hills Run in Nijmegen, Netherlands.
It is really fascinating to know that Joshua Cheptegei has beaten Kenyan Leonard Komon’s World Record twice in a span of one plus year. At the Zevenheuvelenloop 15K Road Race in Nijmegen, Netherlands – Joshua Cheptegei bettered Leonard Komon’s World Record by 8 seconds to clock 41:05. The Ugandan won the Zevenheuvelenloop 15K Road Race for the fourth time to stamp his command over the Dutch course. Leonard Komon had established both the World Records – 10K and 15K – in the year 2010.
Joshua Cheptegei is a dedicated athlete, who trains very hard to achieve greatness in the fiercely competitive field of distance running. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia – the Uganda running machine won the Gold medals in the 5,000m and the 10,000m. On the 30th of March 2019, Joshua Cheptegei became the first Ugandan athlete to win the World Cross Country Championships title in Aarhus, Denmark. His superb form also won Team Uganda the Gold medal and lifted the World Cross Country Championships Team title.
Joshua Cheptegei has made his motherland Uganda proud by becoming the 10,000m World Champion at the 2019 World Championships in Doha in October 2019. Joshua loves to run from the front and he has displayed his intention to lead the pack – be it the track or else the road. Cheptegei is one of the outstanding members of the NN Running Team and trains with the likes of Marathon World Record Holder Eliud Kipchoge.
Athletes all over the world are eagerly waiting for the 2020 Olympic Games, which will be held from the 24th of July to 9th of August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei as the 10,000m World Champion will be defending his title in his second Summer Olympics. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Cheptegei was just 19 years young novice to run in his first Olympics.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, 19-year-young Joshua Cheptegei finished 8th in the 5,000m clocking 13:09.17. In the 10,000m, the Ugandan clocked his personal best of 27:10.06 to finish 6th among the experienced bunch of Mo Farah, Paul Tanui, Yigrem Demelash, Galen Rupp and Tamirat Tola. The 2020 Summer Olympics will be altogether a new experience for the Ugandan with his superb form to dominate the 10K distance.
Joshua Cheptegei has learned a great deal from the Marathon World Record holder Eliud Kipchoge and his Coach Addy Ruiter. After his win in Valencia, he posted on the social network – ‘It’s a special moment to crown the year with yet another important achievement. What a year 2019 to end with a 10K World Record!’ He also thanked his family, pacemakers, Coach and training partners.
Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei was born in Kapsewui, Kapchorwa district in Uganda on the 12th of September 1996. Little Joshua was a born athlete. During his growing up years, Little Joshua keenly played football in his Primary School. He also took part in the Long Jump and the Triple Jump in school. However, as destined Little Joshua found his love for distance running as he grew up.
Joshua Cheptegei joined the Uganda National Police after studying languages and literature for two years in the Capital city of Kampala. Life in Uganda is tough and full of struggle.
At the age of 17, Joshua Cheptegei made his entry at the world stage as a junior athlete. He represented Uganda at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Eugene, United States. Joshua ran his Personal Best in the 5,000m clocking 13:32.84 to finish 4th in the race. Not the one to give up so easily, Joshua displayed an irresistible demeanour to clinch the Gold medal in the 10,000m clocking 28:32.86.
At the 2014 African Championships in Marrakech, Morocco Joshua Cheptegei could not finish the 10,000m. A year later at the 2015 African Junior Championships, Joshua won the Gold medal in 10,000m clocking 29:58.70. The 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Rio Olympics was a disappointing experience for Joshua Cheptegei. At the 2017 World Championships, Cheptegei clocked his Personal Best of 26:49.94 for 10,000m to pick up the Silver medal.