London, UK | THE INDEPENDENT & AFP | Uganda’s 🇺🇬 Joshua Cheptegei has won the 2017 World Athletics Championship 10,000m silver medal after a fine run in the final on Friday.
Ugandan youngster Cheptegei stretched British athletics legend Mo Farah all the way. Cheptegei bagged a sh108million prize for his effort, joining a small band of Ugandans to have won World Championships medals.
Solmon Mutai won marathon bronze at the last championships in Beijing in 2015, Stephen Kiprotich won gold in 2013 while Moses Kipsiro grabbed bronze in 2007.
The pace was set by Dorcus Inzikuru with 3000m steeeplechase gold in Helsinki in 2005.
Race was tough
“The race was a really tough race, you know. I feel like my preparations were enough; my last lap was really poor but I feel like I’m coming good, I just need to do some more training,” Cheptegei said.
“The plan was to run a hard race. The opening lap was not a problem – I thought I was going at 65 (seconds), but I saw it coming at 61 and it was fine. I’m not upset about the loss because I am still young.”
About his disastrous IAAF World Cross Country Championships earlier this year, Cheptegei said: “Now I feel happy because I have a medal in the senior race. I feel Kampala was just not my day, I was really in shape but it wasn’t my day.”
Britain’s Mohamed Farah wins absorbing race
The 34-year-old, who will bid to add a third successive world double in the 5000m later in the championships, had a narrow escape from disaster on the final lap when he was clipped twice but somehow kept his balance to prevail.
“I knew at 12 laps to go when they went hard from there I knew it was going to be tough. It was about believing in my sprint finish and knowing that I have been in that position before. It helped a lot having that experience.”
The Ugandans and the Kenyans deployed their strategy of ‘surging’ with them alternating the lead pace so as not to allow Farah to get into a rhythm.
Farah beats Uganda and Kenya team tactics
Two-time world cross-country champion Geoffrey Kamworor took up the pace with over 21 laps to run — Farah was seventh from the back but looking comfortable.
Kamworor exchanged the lead with Cheptegei, the 20-year-old performing the same role as he had in the Olympic final in Rio.
Farah moved along in around 12th as Kamworor and compatriot Tanui injected more pace up front and the trio of Ethiopians loomed large on the scene.
However, Farah decided with 14 laps remaining to show them he was unaffected by their tactics accelerating down the finishing straight to briefly head the field.
The Kenyans resumed their control up front soon afterwards and upped the pace recording a lap of 61 seconds with the Ugandans tucked in behind them and Farah 11th.
However, each time they thought they had him on the ropes Farah also sped up although Kamworor deliberately slowed it down recording a lap of 67 seconds.
With nine laps to go the pace setting was taken up by young Eritrean Aron Kifle but despite the constant changing of pace Farah despite being elbowed looked comfortable.
With 2000m to the tape Cheptegei led the field but was then passed by the fastest man in the world this year Ethiopian Abadi Hadis, who looked in ominously good shape. (see lap by lap analysis on page 2)
With two laps to go Farah moved up to the shoulder of Hadis, passing him down the back straight, and as the bell rang he looked up at the big screen to see how his rivals were behind him.
Despite the two clippings Farah held his nerve and was able to repel one final challenge from the relentless Cheptegei to cross the line with fireworks going off to celebrate his feat.
Ugandans in action Saturday and Sunday
Cheptegei, who runs for Police Athletics Club in Kampala and is part of the Global Sports Communication intenational team that also has Kenya ace Eliud Kipchoge, returns on Wednesday for the 5,000m heats. Ugandans Sabu Salim Mayanja in the 800m and Mercyline Chelangat are entered for action on Saturday.
Sunday will see Uganda’s fancied marathoners battle to make up for the absence of Stephen Kiprotich. The team is led by Solomon Mutai, Uganda’s only medalist at the last Championships.
The steeplechase team also do battle Sunday, for finals due on Tuesday. Monday is a rest day for team Uganda.
1st: $60,000 (Sh216 million)
2nd: $30,000 (Sh108 million)
3rd: $20,000 (Sh72 million)
4th: $15,000 (Sh54,million)
5th: $10,000 (Sh36 million)
6th: $6,000 (Sh21 million)
7th: $5,000 (Sh18million)
8th: $4,000 (Sh14 million)
*Break a world record (individual or relay teams): $100,000
|2||1356||Joshua Kiprui CHEPTEGEI||UGA||26:49.94||PB|
|3||1148||Paul Kipngetich TANUI||KEN||26:50.60||SB|
|4||1142||Bedan Karoki MUCHIRI||KEN||26:52.12||PB|
|6||1130||Geoffrey Kipsang KAMWOROR||KEN||26:57.77||SB|
|12||735||Abraham Naibei CHEROBEN||BRN||27:11.08||NR|
|13||1417||Leonard Essau KORIR||USA||27:20.18||PB|
|18||1359||Moses Martin KURONG||UGA||27:50.71|
— LetsRun.com (@letsrundotcom) August 4, 2017