About two weeks ago, Ugandan runner Joshua Cheptegei broke a 16-year-old 5,000m world record at the Monaco Diamond League event.
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.
Also 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.
After attaining a hat trick of world records in a space of one year, Cheptegei who will complete his mandatory quarantine period this weekend in his hometown Kapchorwa has come out to talk about his recent heroics, what is in store for him and matters athletics.
“To win an event, the preparation starts from the training. When the event is getting closer and closer, I keep on encouraging myself and believe that this is like another kind of session,” Cheptegei said during an online interview with the NN Running Team.
Albeit becoming a man to watch in the recent past, Cheptegei says that stage freight still hits him though he manages to shove it off.
“In such circumstances I speak to myself and say that Josh, men you can do it! I don’t give myself a second chance, it’s always now or never,” Cheptegei added saying that he always encourages himself both before and after the race.
Reflecting on the recent Monaco race, Cheptegei believes that he enjoyed almost every moment on the track.
“In the beginning it was not actually going very well but of course I had to remain stronger in the mind and after a few meters it was really going great,” Cheptegei said.
Cheptegei adds that the current restrictions due to Covid-19 has made him not to celebrate his triumph in the ‘usual way.’
“It (Covid-19) has made things difficult but never the less I am already a happy man after breaking another world record. It is an achievement worth celebrating,” Cheptegei said adding that he has returned to doing drills especially early in the morning.
Going forward, Cheptegei believes that he can smash more records especially when the global health situation normalizes.
“I can even do something more special than this. I can run more faster than that,” Cheptegei said setting the 10,000 meter race in sight.
“Winning the 100,000m race is actually my dream, it will really be special for me to break that record. Really I am looking forward to the future and in case an opportunity comes, I will go for it,” a positive Cheptegei revealed.
Cheptegei also revealed that the 5,000m record is his biggest achievement so far for it took 16 years to be broken.
The athlete attributes his success to hard work, determination and devotion.