Ugandan 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder Joshua Cheptegei says he’s feeling good ahead of Saturday’s World Athletics Half Marathon in Gdynia, Poland.
Cheptegei will be making his debut in the event after smashing the men’s 10,000m world record earlier this month at the NN World Record Day event in Valencia.
When quizzed on how he felt on Friday after doing some light training on the track, the 24-year-old revealed how he’s fine-tuned his body just in time for the challenge.
“I feel good,” he told in a press conference. “Almost fully recovered. Ready for race. This morning I did small jogging on the course and its a good but also a tough one. I think I will enjoy.”
How Cheptegei planned debut Half Marathon
The Half Marathon was due to take place on 29 March but was postponed until October due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Kapchorwa based athlete, the altering of dates for the competition caused an unexpected change of plans but his focus remained on fulifling his dream.
“It’s been my dream to make a debut at the half marathon but it was also in plan last year to do the half marathon as a leading preparation towards the Olympic games,” Cheptegei further told media.
“We were kind of faced with adversity because of Covid. There was a twist of events and things changed.
“We sat down and got the other option of running in the diamond leagues and trying to attack a couple of world records, which I think I have acheived.
“I have been training well ofcourse for my track events like the 5000m, 10,000m but yet this is another obstacle which I am going to face. I believe I am a person of high talent and I can say it will be a nice challenge for me.
“I am also hungry for the title because there are not so many events this year. And if I can win this title, it will be so special to me.”
He faces direct competition from compatriot Jacob Kiplimo and Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie, who recorded a world leading half marathon time of 58:38 in the RunCzech Half in September.
Should Cheptegei win the Half Marathon, he shall have become the second man in the modern era to win global titles on the track, road and cross-country, joining Khalid Skah.