Track & Field Worlds: Joshua Cheptegei makes it back-to-back 10,000m golds 

The Ugandan world record holder was unstoppable in Oregon, with Kenya’s Stanley Mburu winning silver and Cheptegei's compatriot Jacob Kiplimo bronze. 

By Sean McAlister
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

After a race that came to life on the very last lap, Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei has won10,000 gold medal at the Track & Field World Championships in Oregon.

Cheptegei came into the race as the reigning world champion after his triumph at Doha 2019, however the world record holder over the 10,000m distance had a question mark hanging over his head after being beaten to gold in the same event at last year's Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The man who triumphed that day, Selemon Barega, was also on the starting line at Hayward Field, making for an intriguing battle on a warm afternoon in Eugene.

In a race that didn't sparkle until the final 400m, Cheptegei led at the bell and kept his nerve to kick for the finish line, claiming the gold medal in 27:27.43.

Behind him, Kenya's Stanley Mburu finished half a second behind in 27:27.90 to take silver, with Cheptegei's compatriot and Olympic bronze medallist Jacob Kiplimo winning the same colour medal in 27:27.97.

In the end, Barega could only manage fifth, while home favourite Grant Fisher put in a strong performance to end the race in fourth position, just metres away from a first-ever medal for the USA in the event.

Cheptegei will race in the heats of the men's 5000m on Thursday 21 July, with the final taking place on Sunday 24 July. He will once again be favourite for gold in an event in which he is both world record holder and Olympic champion.

After his victory, Cheptegi spoke about how pleased he was to execute so well on a day where the hot weather conditions made racing a challenge.

"I knew that if I get into the last fight, I can control it and I could speed it up," he said. "I was able to get stronger and keep it faster and faster.

"It was very emotional for me to come back to the USA where I started my international career in 2014. Now, I want to continue my dominancy in the long distance running and I hope I will manage it."

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