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Cheptegei back on track for Mo Farah, Kamworor showdown

Cheptegei led for 4 of 5 laps in the men’s 10km World Cross Country Championships race in Kampala earlier this year before he collapsed. He runs in the US on Saturday.  PHOTO KCCA MEDIA

Eugene IAAF Diamond League

Today: 5,000m 11.30pm

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei gets a chance to put his athletics season back on track when he runs against double Olympic 5,000m – 10,000m Champion Mo Farah and two-time World Cross Country king Geoffrey Kamworor at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on Saturday.

Cheptegei, who collapsed spectacularly at the World Cross Country Championships on home ground in March, gets an opportunity to indicate how much he has recovered.

In the 10km cross country race in March, Cheptegei set a blistering pace after two laps, but in the final lap run out of gas, suddenly slowed down, and walked to the finish line in 30th position. He was stretchered off.

“He is very okay,” said national coach Faustine Kiwa, when The Independent asked about his fitness ahead of the Eugene IAAF Diamond League race.  “He even danced that night of the cross country final. The doctors said he simply stretched himself, but is fine.”

That men’s World Cross Country Championship 10km race was won by Kenya’s Kamworor, followed by Leonard Barsoton. Cheptegei faces them both in this weekend’s Eugene Diamond League in the US.

The other Ugandan in action Saturday is teenager Jacob Kiplimo. Kiplimo won the men’s junior gold at Kampala’s World Cross Country Championships.

The World’s best 

The 5,000m (12.5 laps) race Saturday is a remarkable collection of the world’s best distance runners and will show how much Cheptegei,20 has recovered, on top of providing a preview of the London World Championships final this summer. (see key runners profiles on page 2 or click)

The University of Oregon’s Hayward Field is the training base of Farah but Cheptegei has fond memories of the US state. It was in Eugene, Oregon that he announced his arrival on the world stage at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships by winning the 10,000m gold.

Farah faces a repeat of his Rio Olympics 5,000m final, with both silver medallist Paul Chelimo and bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet, 23, in the field.

Friday’s night’s opening events will see Ethiopia’s Olympic silver medallist Genzebe Dibaba take another crack at the world record in the 5,000m, aiming to beat the existing mark of 14min 11.15sec held by her sister Tirunesh since 2008.

Other highlights on Saturday include the men’s 100m, where Olympic silver medallist Justin Gatlin and Canada’s bronze medallist Andre DeGrasse resume their rivalry.

The women’s 800m meanwhile sees Olympic champion Caster Semenya head a strong line-up which also includes Rio medallists Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Margaret Wambui of Kenya.

Men’s 5000 Meters Personal Best
Hagos Gebrhiwet (Ethiopia) 12:47.53
Isiah Kiplangat Koech (Kenya) 12:48.64
Albert Rop (Bahrain) 12:51.96
Mo Farah (Great Britain) 12:53.11
Yomif Kejelcha (Ethiopia) 12:53.98
Paul Kipngetich Tanui (Kenya) 12:58.69
Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku (Kenya) 12:59.17
Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) 12:59.98
Joshua Cheptagei (Uganda) 13:00.60
Mohammed Ahmed (Canada) 13:01.74
Ben True (USA) 13:02.74
Hassan Mead (USA) 13:02.80
Ibrihim Jeilan (Ethiopia) 13:03.22
Paul Chelimo (USA) 13:03.90
Getaneh Tamire (Ethiopia) 13:05.59
Ryan Hill (USA) 13:05.69
Eric Jenkins (USA) 13:05.85
Bashir Abdi (Belgium) 13:06.10
Chris Derrick (USA) 13:08.04
Andrew Butchart (Great Britain) 13:08.61
Aron Kifle (Eritrea) 13:13.39
Leonard Barsoton (Kenya) 13:16.25
Nicholas Kosimbei (Kenya) 13:17.08
Jacob Kiplimo (Uganda) 13:19.54
William Malel Sitonik (Kenya) 13:19.83
Patrick Tiernan (Australia) 13:20.88
Djamal A. Direh (Djibouti) 13:21.50
Conseslus Kipruto (Kenya) 13:47.5(A)

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