DOHA – Uganda’s Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei triumphed after a close battle in the 10,000 meters on Sunday, winning his first world title and bringing his country their second medal of the championships.
Cheptegei, who shared the pace with Kenyan duo Rhonex Kipruto and Rodgers Kwemoi for much of the race, was rewarded by out-slugging Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha in a thrilling final lap to land the title in 26:48.36 – the second-fastest time in World Championships history.
Kejelcha who earlier this year set a world indoor record for the mile and was running in only the second 10,000m race of his career, finished just under one second behind Cheptegei, clinching silver with a personal best time of 26:49.34.
Kenya’s Kipruto, the world U20 champion, aged just 19 had to settle for bronze after having led for most of the race, crossing the finish line in 26:50.32.
The biggest disappointment of the night was two-time world 5000m medalist Hagos Gebrhiwet, who was replaced as world leader by Cheptegei. The Ethiopian had to settle for a distant ninth in 27:11.37.