Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei on Friday night won the world five kilometer track at the Wanda diamond League meeting in Monaco France with a bang as athletics events have started taking center stage amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
The 23 year old Cheptegei surprisingly delivered as he clocked 12 minutes, 35.36 seconds, destroying the 12:37.35 that Ethiopian long-distance runner Bekele set in the Netherlands in 2004, 16 years ago.
“It took a lot of mind setting to keep being motivated this year because so many people are staying at home but you have to stay motivated,” he said.
“I pushed myself; I had the right staff with me, the right coach. I’m also usually based in Europe, but being based in Uganda with my family was actually great. I will for sure celebrate the world record when I get home,” he finalized.
In Spain’s Valencia last December, Cheptegei set a new 10km world record on the road with a time of 26 minutes and 38 seconds, beating the previous record held by Leonard Patrick Komon of Kenya by six seconds.
In February, Cheptegei ran 12 minutes 51 seconds to smash the 5km road world record set by Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto by 27 seconds in Monaco.
Athletics fans had waited a long time for the first Diamond League meeting and the 5,000 spectators allowed in the stadium and millions watching on TV were not disappointed on a night of impressive performances.
Athletes of every discipline showed that they had found ways to keep in shape during their various lockdown restrictions.
By Shadrack Andenga odinga