Uganda’s long distance runner Joshua Cheptegei said has fulfilled his dream to be a world champion after extending the nation’s medal tally at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to four after winning gold.
Cheptegei who is now a double Olympic medalist and world record holder in the event saw him bolt to the finish line ahead of all his Ugandan compatriots, Jacob Kiplimo and Oscar Chelimo.
Cheptegei who clocked 12:58.15 beat second placed Canadian Mohammed Ahmed who posted 12:58.61 in the men’s 5000m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 6, 2021
Joshua Cheptegei made up for his silver in the 10,000 metres to win the 5,000m Olympic title on Friday, succeeding two-time champion Mo Farah.
The 24-year-old Ugandan world record holder in the distance timed 12min 58.15sec, Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed won silver in 12:58.61 and the USA’s Paul Chelimo took the bronze medal in 12:59.05.
Britain’s Farah — who achieved the ‘double double’ of 5,000 and 10,000m at the 2012 and 2016 Games — failed to qualify for the Games.
“It’s really a great moment,” he said. “I made a small mistake (in the 10,000m) and I was regretting having to become a silver medallist.
“I came here to become an Olympic champion and my dream has been fulfilled today in a beautiful evening.” He added.
“I knew a lot of guys were strong so I had to take them through the lap and whoever was the strongest in the mind (would win),” he said.
“I would like to thank Jacob for the teamwork,” said Cheptegei. “He is really a perfect sparring partner with whom I’ve raced and trained together.”
Cheptegei’s victory has enabled Uganda to get four medals at a single olympic event for the first time in history.
Cheptegei came out with double Olympics glory of a gold and silver medal, women’s 3,000m steeplechase gold for Chemutai and mens 10, 000m bronze for Kiplimo.