Ugandan athlete and new 5000m world record owner Joshua Cheptegei has revealed the origin of his motivation that led him to unprecedented success in Monaco.
Cheptegei says the lengthy lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the cancellation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics served as motivators to the record attack.
Speaking to the Olympic Channel’s podcast, the 23-year-old long-distance runner also talked up his coach, manager’s influence and hunger for success.
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“The motivation ofcourse was there and at one time I was actually demoralized but then I had my training partners, my coaches, they were telling me ‘Joshua when you are go through a storm, something good is going happen’.
“During these difficult times, you can still expect a better life after the storm. Life can still give us good things to be grateful and now I got back my motivation and I knew at one point I would get back to racing.”
“It was actually in Febuary when I broke the world record on the road in Monaco for 5k so that gave me a lot of motivation and morale that even the track records could be possible.
“When the olympics games were postponed in March, it gave me (time) to rediscover, go back to the drawing with my coach, manager to discuss how possible it was to break the world record.
“It was in March when the lockdown was announced in my country. They didn’t allow a crowd of more than ten people so that means we were going to cut off the training camp, stop group trainings.
“The focus was to continue training to keep the body (fit). We were not having access to the track.”
“The secret for my success is that I am not always contented with whatever achievement I make. When I make an achievement like in Monaco, it makes me hungry for more victories, more challenges.
“To me Monaco is a done deal, I am looking forward to new challenges in the sport. Everyday, I want to be the best. Trying to become better than yesterday.”