Uganda’s star Athlete Joshua Cheptegei has today set a 2022 season world-leading of 26 minutes and 49 seconds over the 10km road race in Cannes, France.
Cheptegei 25, crossed the finishing line before Kenya’s Samuel Habtom who come a distant second in 27 minutes and 51 seconds while Uganda’s Abel Sikowo came third, posting 27.58 minutes.
Cheptegei was commencing his 2022 season, before the Cannes event, the 5,000 and 10,000m world record holder had not raced since August last year when he won the 2-mile race in Oregon.
Although Cheptegei ran under his personal best time over the distance which stands at 26 minutes and 38 seconds, the victory will shape him up as he prepares to defend his 10,000m world title in Oregon this year.
After winning the race, Cheptegei said the victory will give him confidence for the track season. Happy to see where I stand. It’s great to start my season with a World Lead. This gives me confidence for my track season.
Benjamin Njia, Uganda Police Athletics Club coach told Uganda Radio Network- URN that the victory for Cheptegei is a milestone as e ears up for the 2022 season international engagements.
“For me, it’s a great start for the season after being out of active competition for long, yes, this is a great boost for Oregon,” Njia briefly told URN.
The Olympics gold medalist was returning to the road after spending almost two and half years without taking part in any road race.
Cheptegei last took part in the 10km road race in 2019 when he smashed the world record in the 10km race after crossing the finishing line in 26 minutes and 38 seconds at the 10K Valencia Trinidad Alfonso, although his world record didn’t last long.
Six weeks later, Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto smashed the record when he posted 26 minutes, 24 seconds in Valencia.
He lowered Cheptegei’s world record by 14 seconds, making Cheptegei the second-fastest man in the world over the 10km road race.