Uganda’s long distance runner Joshua Cheptegei expects tough challenge tonight in the 5000m as he gets his Diamond League season underway in Florence, Italy.
Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo will face off with World Record holder Siffan Hassan, Faith Kipyegon and Laura Muir while Albert Chemutai will be in the 3000m steeplechase.
Cheptegei will be competing in a tough field that has Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigsten, Ethiopian trio of Selemon Barega, Hagos Gebrhiwet and Muktar Edris.
Spaniard, with Moroccan decency, Mohamed Katir who won this distance in Gateshead, will also be competing in a field that also has Iguider Adelaati from Morocco and Brunei’s Balew Birhanu.
“We have a very strong field, you could speak about the Ethiopian guys, the canadians, Jakob etc and I believe tht the meeting record will be in danger,” Cheptegei said in the press conference.
The meeting record stand at 12:46, set by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge in 2004.
In a field that has seven sub-13-minute men, Cheptegei’s biggest rival will be Norway’s Jakob who won the 1500m title in Gateshead this season.
“Jakob has shown a lot of tremendous and world class performances, he is really the man of the moment. He is capable of delivering something special at the big stage,” Cheptegei said of his competitor.
Last month, Cheptegei won the 3000m race in Ostrava but missed the World Record. ” I am pretty sure that my body is much better than it was in Ostrava and I hope I can target a time of 12.40.”
The race comes less than a month away to the Olympics where Cheptegei will be going for a double in 5000m and 10000m.
He was tremendous last year – He set a new world road 5 km record of 12:51 at a Road race in Monaco breaking the previous best time of 13:00, set by Kenya’s Sammy Kipketer in 2000.
He set the new 5000m world record of 12:35.36 at the Monaco Diamond League meet, breaking Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old world record of 12:37.35 set in Hengelo.
On 7 October 2020, in Valencia, he set a world record time of 26:11.00 in the 10000 meters, breaking Kenenisa Bekele’s 15-year-old record by more than 6 seconds.