Uganda’s Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei successfully defended his 10000m title at the ongoing World Athletics Championships at the Hawyard Field in Eugene – Oregon, USA.
Cheptegei took gold with an outrageous final kick in the last lap of the fast-paced race with a time of 27:27.43 in a tactical race of sorts.
Kenya’s Stanley Waithaka Mburu finished second to take the silver with a time of 27:27.90, his seasonal best.
Another Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo posted 27:27.93 and settled for bronze, out-sprinting Ethiopian Selemon Barega (Olympic 10,000m gold medalist) in the last 50 metres.
Barega finished fifth, beaten to fourth by American Grant Fisher.
This was Kiplimo’s season-best time of the year over 10,000m.
These are Uganda’s first two medals at the 2022 World Athletics Championships.
Uganda’s Stephen Kissa set the early pace for the rest of the field before paving way for the Cheptegei to take over.
Cheptegei then moved to the front at the 3km mark, Barega briefly surging through the 5km mark in 14.01.
Kiplimo put in a shift up front, further splitting the pack to a lead group of 15, perhaps bigger than the east Africans might have liked.
Heading into the final two laps, Barega and Mburu shot to the front, setting up a grandstand finish as a pack of eight went through the bell for the final 400 metres.
Long-time leader Cheptegei was in no doubt about what his race plan was, kicking past the pair at 300 metres and easily holding off all-comers down the backstretch, around the final bend and towards the home straight in a consummate display of distance running.
Cheptegei had also won gold over the same distance during the 2019 World Championships held in Doha, Qatar.
He had earlier settled for silver during the 2017 edition in London, United Kingdom.
Chepetegi is only the fourth man in history to win back-to-back titles.
He will now attempt the elusive double when going again over 5,000 later in the week.