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Doha, Qatar | THE INDEPENDENT & AFP | Uganda has finished 9th overall, their best performance ever in the history of the World Athletics Championships.
Team Uganda capped their 2-gold performance with a fine win by Joshua Cheptegei in a thrilling 10,000 meters race on Sunday night. The 23-year-old won in 26min 48.36 seconds, the second fastest time ever in the championships and best this year.
“In a brutal race of attrition, Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda capped a glorious year by securing the world 10,000m title to add to the world cross-country crown he secured in March,” reported the IAAF website after the race. (see video page 2)
“Cheptegei, who shared the pace with Kenyan duo Rhonex Kipruto and Rodgers Kwemoi for much of the race, was rewarded by out-slugging Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha in a thrilling final lap to land the title in 26:46.37 – the second-fastest time in World Championships history.”
“He is in his best shape ever,” his coach Addy Ruiter had predicted before the race. “We have a plan A, B, C and if it fails, D.”
He becomes only the fourth Ugandan to win World Athletics Championship gold, joining steeple-chaser Dorcus Inzikuru in Helsinki 2005, Stephen Kiprotich off track in the marathon in Moscow 2013 and Halimah Nakaayi in the 800m at Doha 2019.
Other medals for Uganda at the Worlds have been two Silvers by Davis Kamoga Athens 1997 and Joshua Cheptegei 2017; Bronzes by Moses Kipsiro Osaka 2007 and Solomon Mutai in Beijing 2015.
Uganda’s team returns at 1pm on Monday, hours after the close of the Doha meet.