Ugandan long distance runner Joshua Cheptegei who recently broke the 5000m world record at the Monaco Diamond League returned home on Sunday.
Early in the day, Cheptegei was received by the Uganda High Commission officials in Nairobi at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Together with his teammates Halima Nakaayi, Samuel Kisa and Winnie Nanyondo, Cheptegei was later moved to Malaba border point where he was received by the Ministry of Education and Sports officials.
However, albeit a symbolic heroic welcome, there were no huge masses to welcome the athletes as it used to be in the recent past. Large groups of people were prohibited as a way to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials from athletics federation say that Cheptegei will go into a two-week mandatory quarantine (self-isolation) in his hometown, Kapchorwa. The quarantine is a Ministry of Health (MoH) measure for all returnees in a bid to curb a possible spread of Covid-19.
After the self-isolation, the decorated athlete will be officially hosted by President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe.
At State House, Cheptegei will present the medal to the president. He (Cheptegei) will be flanked by officials from Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), Ugnada Olympic Committee (UOC), National Council of Sports (NCS) and those from Ministry of Education and Sports.
In Monaco, Cheptegei put up a good show to break a 16-year-old 5,000m world record at the Principality’s Louis II Stadium.
Cheptegei, 23, broke Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) record by about two seconds with a winning time of 12 minutes 35.36 seconds to claim a career third world title. Bekele’s winning time was 12:37.35.
In February this year, Cheptegei broke the 5km road world record still in Monaco. This was his second world record.
His maiden world record was when he won the 10,000m world title in Doha last year.