Joshua Cheptegei points to the skies after the victory in Eugene | Credit: Matthew Quine / Wanda Diamond League

Uganda’s long-distance runner Joshua Cheptegei claimed victory in the Men’s two-mile race at the Prefontaine Classic Meet of the Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

In a battle of Olympic gold medalists, the 5000m winner defeated Selemon Barega (the 10000m champion), running a world-leading time of 8:09.55 to beat the Ethiopian who came home in 8:09.82.

Paul Chelimo of the USA was timed in 8:09.83 for third place and won the mini-battle of Olympic bronze medalists as Jacob Kiplimo settled for fourth in 8:10.16, a personal best for the 20-year-old.

“It feels so good to come back and run 2-mile in Oregon. It really means a lot to me to win here in Oregon and it will always be in my heart,” Cheptegei said after the race.

How other Ugandans performed

In the Women’s 3000m steeplechase, Peruth Chemutai who was the first Ugandan to take the Hayward Field maroon track on the day finished seventh in 9:10.87.

Two of the six athletes ahead of Chemtai ran personal best times while three ran their season-best. Norah Jeruto who didn’t make the strong Kenyan Olympics team raced away to a world-leading time of 8:53.65 and was followed by American Courtney Frerichs who ran a national record and personal best of 8:57.77. Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng, a bronze medalist in Tokyo, finished in 9:00.05 for third place.

In the Women’s 800m, Halima Nakaayi came sixth recording a time of 1:58.78. American sensation Athing Mu was at her all-time best, lowering her own national record to 1:55.04 in a race she won by well over two seconds as countrymate Kate Grace (1:57.60) edged Jamaica’s Natoya Goule (1:57.71) for second place.

Winnie Nanyondo came fourth in the Women’s 1500m in 4:00.72. Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon ran by herself for a huge victory in a meet record 3:53.23 to win by over six seconds. Australia’s Linden Hall (3:59.73) beat American Josette Norris (4:00.07) for second place.

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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