Uganda’s long distance runners Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo put smiles on many Ugandan faces today after the two collected Uganda’s first ever double medal performance at the Olympics games. Cheptegei won silver while his counterpart 20 year old Kiplimo won bronze.
The race was won by Ethiopian Selemon Barega. Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega had a dream start to his Olympic debut by opening up the first athletics final at Tokyo 2020 with a win in the men’s 10,000m.
The 21-year-old 5,000m champion had held back for much of the 25-lap race before he kicked for home on the last bend, overtaking world record-holder and world champion, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei, to cross the line first in 27:43.22 at the Olympic Stadium.
“I was able to achieve the gold medal because I was not participating in other competitions, and I was able to focus on achieving the gold medal in this Olympics,” said a delighted Barega, who added he would now be willing to race in the 5,000m final.
“I’m very ready to run but I’m not sure about what the Olympics and the Federation will say, but if they allow me, I am really ready to compete.” He added
Cheptegei said: “I have two feelings. One is that I’m very happy to have won an Olympic silver medal today and I would say that this is really special for me as a world-record holder and as a world champion.
“But the other side of me is really not satisfied with the result because I came here expecting to win gold, but you never know how someone has prepared and you just have to be grateful and thankful to God that you had the best opportunity of being on the podium.”
Cheptegei and Kiplimo will have a second chance at winning gold at the Olympics next Friday when they take part in the 5000M race. They will need to qualify for the final first on Tuesday during the Heats.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.