Ugandan long distance runner Joshua Cheptegei retained his Monaco Run title to mark a perfect to his 2021 season on Sunday.
Cheptegei posted 13:11 to upstage Kenyans Bethwell Birgen and Davis Kiplangat who crossed the finish line in second and third position respectively.
The 24-year old led the race from the start and by the 1KM split, he was shoulder to shoulder with Kiplangat and Birgen.
The field had to endure cold and windy weather despite the sun lighting up sections of the designated streets in Monaco.
At the 3KM mark, Birgen and Tokyo Olympics medal hopeful Cheptegei had both run 8:00, Kiplangat just a micro-second behind.
In the final stretch of the race, Cheptegei drew close to 10m away from his opponent to reach the tape in fashion, a start he wanted for the new 2021 season.
His performance brought back memories of the 2020 season when he also kicked it off on the streets of Monaco, the 5KM edition of that year.
In the women’s race, Beatrice Chepkoech broke the Sifa Hassan’s 2019 world record set in Monaco (14:44) after the running the 5KM in 14:43.