There are five or six athletes in Uganda that are in a league of their own. Joshua Cheptegei, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), is the greatest among them.
Running in the French city of Nice, the 25-year-old converted a routine Sunday into a memorable one by winning the Cannes 10K road race.
Cheptegei, who was vibrant and expressive, stood head and shoulders above the rest of his opponents. He won the race at 26:49.
Despite missing the world record by only a small margin, Cheptegei was able to secure a 10-kilometer road world lead for 2022.
It was not about the legs but how good the head was, and the Global Sports Communication Agency runner’s shoulders seemed to carry a brainy one.
It is astonishing that he promised it and delivered it in a special manner.
This win is not ordinary, even by the world record holder and Olympic Gold and Silver medalist’s standards, because it was his first competitive race in seven months.
No wonder, after hitting the tape, Cheptegei exploded into wild celebrations, having rediscovered his monstrous and proven skillset.
Uganda’s Greatest Athlete of All Time was amazingly sharp, alert, and unstoppable for the rivals who hailed from Eritrea, Kenya, France, and Ethiopia.
After a relaxed but calculated initial run, he cut clear just at the right time and kept steering his speedy ship from the beginning, passing the 3 km mark in 7:55 and the 5-kilometer turning point at 13:18.
On his return journey, en route to the finishing line, there was some strong wind, which slowed him down a bit, but he braved it to clinch a much needed.
By doing so, he impressed his coach, the Dutchman Addy Ruiter.
This was a good test and a good time for the moment. We can now start from this point preparing for the World Athletics Championships, “Ruiter told New Vision Sports in a post-race interview.
This stellar display is another glimpse into what lies ahead for the Nike-sponsored Kapchorwa-born international.
This was his third win on the spin on French soils, having won there in double quick succession in 2020 en route to smashing the same number of world records.
On the other hand, his fellow compatriot, Abel Sikowo, was not wasting time in making his career intentions known.
The versatile Sikowo, who is transitioning into main racing from pacing, managed his fastest time ever in 10km when he clocked 27:58, winning a bronze.
The Kenyan, Samuel Habtom, finished ahead of Sikowo with a time of 27:51.