World Champion and 5,000m record holder Joshua Cheptegei is back in Uganda through the Malaba Border post.

Joshua Cheptegei who on Friday shattered the much-vaunted 16-year-old 5,000m world record at the Monaco Diamond League, in France, will go into self-isolation in Kapchorwa town. He will be training from his camp in Teryet, Kapchorwa, for the next two weeks before reuniting with his family.

Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei (born 12 September 1996) is a Ugandan long-distance runner. In 2017, he became the silver medalist in the 10,000 metres run at the World Championship in London. In 2018, he set a world record for the 15 km road race and became the cross country world champion in 2019. That year at the World Championships in Doha, he won a gold medal in the 10,000 metres men’s final. In 2020, at a road race in Monaco, he set a new world road 5 km record of 12:51, breaking through the event’s 13-minute barrier, taking 9 seconds from the previous best time of 13:00, set by Kenya’s Sammy Kipketer in 2000. In August 2020, at the Monaco Diamond League meet, he set a new 5000 metres world record of 12:35.36, breaking Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old world record of 12:37.35 set in Hengelo.

Cheptegei was born on 12 September 1996 in Kapsewui, Kapchorwa District, Uganda. In primary school, Cheptegei first played football and tried out the long jump and triple jump, but switched to running when he discovered his talent in distance running.

Cheptegei studied languages and literature in Kampala for two years, and is employed by the Uganda National Police.

He is a silver medallist in the 10,000 metres at the 2017 World Championships in London.  He also competed in the 10,000 metres at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, finishing ninth.  He ran at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres, finishing eighth and sixth respectively.  Cheptegei was the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres champion at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Cheptegei is a four-time winner of the Zevenheuvelenloop 15 km road race in Nijmegen, Netherlands. In 2018 Cheptegei set the world record for a 15 km road race. He finished in 41:05 and improved the world record by 8 seconds, formerly set by Leonard Komon at the Zevenheuvelenloop in 2010. Abrar Osman finished second with 42:34 and the 2017 5000 m world champion Muktar Edris placed third with 42:56.

Cheptegei was the winner of the senior men’s race at the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. He won in 31:40 on the 10.24 km course. Ugandan teammate Jacob Kiplimo finished second in 31:44, while Thomas Ayeko placed seventh, and Josehp Ayeko tenth; Uganda won the team first-place title.

On 1 December 2019, he set a new 10 km road race record in Valencia, Spain. His time of 26:38 improved on the previous world record, set by Leonard Komon in 2010, by 6 seconds. On 16 February 2020, he set a new 5 km road race world record in Monaco with a time of 12:51. The previous record was 13:22 set by Robert Keter on 9 November 2019 in Lille, France.

On 13 August 2020, a day before the Herculis meet of the Diamond League in Monaco, Cheptegei announced that he aimed to return to the track and run his first official race in the season with a world record time in the 5000 metres, which would be more than 20 seconds faster than his personal best on a track. At the meet next day, he set a new world record in the 5000 metres with a time of 12:35.36, which broke Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old record – the longest duration in the history of the event – by almost 2 seconds.

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