Cheptegei was the much-profiled athlete in the 10,000m that happened yesterday 30th July. This is after a number of impressive performances prior to the Olympics.
His countryman Kiplimo wasn’t far from the favourites after he’s also been impressing in the recent past.
They were not the only Ugandans as there was also Stephen Kissa although not much known.
However, by the end of the race, Ethiopian Selemon Barega walked away with the gold medal. Cheptegei and Kiplimo had to settle for the silver and bronze medals respectively. Kissa had been leading the track before he pulled out with an injury.
He was Kiprotich’s key to the gold medal as long-distance running is more of tactics and endurance than speed. Mr Museveni said that he felt sorry for Kissa but the pan Africanism in him made him happy too for the Ethiopian, Barega.
“And now, I congratulate Joshua Cheptegei & Jacob Kiplimo who won silver and bronze respectively in the men’s 10,000m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I also acknowledge the gutsy efforts of Stephen Kissa. As a pan-African, I am also proud of Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega who won.” Mr Museveni tweeted.
Barega took over British great Mo Farah’s crown who failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Mo Farah had dominated the 10,000m since the 2008 Olympics to the 2016 edition.
Barega’s time of 27:43:22 is the slowest ever recorded in the 10,000m edition in the Olympics history.
Kiplimo and Cheptegei now turn their focus to the 5000m in order to secure Uganda’s first gold medal since 2012’s good medal from Stephen Kiprotich.
Halima Nakayi and Winnie Nanyondo are the other athletes Uganda has in the Olympics.
These will seek to qualify for the 800m finals as they take to the semifinals on 31st July 2021.
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