After a rather disappointing second-place finish in the men’s 10,000m race, Joshua Cheptegei has redeemed himself at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with gold in the 5000m final.
Cheptegei clocked 12:58.15 to cross the finish line first ahead of Canada’s Ahmed Mohammed and USA’s Chelimo Paul in second and third place respectively.
The current world record holder and world champion showed intent for the top step of the podium when he charged for the front of the pack from start. And throughout the race, he did not look like he would miss the target.
“I’m honoured to be a world record-holder and Olympic champion as well,” Cheptegei said after the race. “After my silver medal for 10,000m I am happy and proud to take this golden medal for 5000m and a great Olympics for Uganda. It’s really a great moment and I regretted my mistake at 10,000m and my dream has been fulfilled here in a beautiful evening.”
However, he was only ahead of the tight pack once – at the 3000m mark in 7:55.25 – with the first two kilometre marks being led by fellow Ugandan compatriot Jacob Kiplimo and the fourth by Kenyan Kimeli Nicholas Kipkorir.
Kiplimo came in 5th while his younger brother Oscar Chelimo was the last to cross the finish in 16th place.
This medal haul brings Uganda’s tally to 4 with two gold – the other won by Peruth Chemutai, one silver and one bronze.