Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei could be usual to competition the 5,000 meters and the 10,000m on the path at the Tokyo Olympics, with the new world record holder in both events, fancied to do the double. If he is to win both Olympic titles, it will be a fourth Games in a row where the double has been achieved.
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Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, who before held both the 5,000m and 10,000m world annals earlier the Ugandan poor both of them last year, won the dual at Beijing 2008, following his 10,000m win at Athens 2004.
Britain’s Mo Farah then attained the double-double at London 2012 and Rio 2016, defensive his 5,000m and 10,000m titles in Brazil, four years after charming them both on home soil. In 2020, Cheptegei set a new best in the 10,000m with 26min 11.00sec at the Valencia World Record Day in October, defeating Bekele’s previous best of 26:17.53 set back in 2005.
Two months beforehand then, he enhanced Bekele’s 16-year 5,000m world best by nearly two seconds, clocking a best of 12:35.36. Now he appears set on joining the select double club.
“It would be a mountain to climb, but the challenge is up to me,” said Cheptegei to the BBC.
It’s difficult a lot, in terms of racing and attitude but I want to give myself a try to win together gold medals. It would be amazing to win the double, but if I win gold in the 10,000m I would still be grateful. He heads into Tokyo Olympic with unbeaten major competition records in 2018 and 2019, with no major championships being held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He achieved the double at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, setting a Games record in the 10,000m.
Cheptegei also won the world title in the 10,000m in Doha in 2019 at the World Athletics Championships in a new personal best. He also presented his talent on other terrains, consuming won the World Cross Country Championships that same year, over a 10-kilometre distance.
He finished with a silver medal at the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London behind Farah in the 10,000m and also featured in the Olympic finals of both the 5,000m and 10,000m at Rio 2016.
He finished eighth in the 5,000m and sixth in the 10,000m, recording a new personal best in the latter. The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 2021, after they were postponed by a year due to coronavirus.
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