Cheptegei returns to the track

Aisha Nassanga

Aisha Nassanga

, Sports

Double gold Commonwealth medalist Joshua Cheptegei will return to Durban on Sunday, 14 October 2018 to defend his title at the 2nd annual FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN.

In 2017 Cheptegei ran the fastest time ever on South African soil over the 10km, clocking 27:28 to break the previous all-comers record of 27:55 set by Kenya’s Andrew Limo in Port Elizabeth in 2009.

Cheptegei made the decisive break in 2017 just after the 6km mark when he forged ahead of teammate Stephen Kissa and Swiss sensation, Julien Wanders.

Cheptegei got his 2018 campaign off to a flying start by winning both the 5000m and 10000m titles at the Commonwealth Games in GoldCoast, Australia at the Commonwealth Games in April and was all set to compete at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond Leaque event in Oregon before a knee injury saw him withdraw from the rest of the track and field season.

“I picked up a knee injury just before I came to South Africa for the Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Meeting in March while preparing for the Commonwealth Games. It wasn’t too bad in March and I was supposed to only do the 5000m in GoldCoast, but the Uganda Athletics Federation asked me to do the 10000m too. Winning both the 5000m and 10000m was very important for me as representing my country means a lot to me. But it did mean that I had to sit out the rest of the track season as we did not want to make the injury worse,” said Cheptegei.

“It was a precautionary measure,” confirms Cheptegei’s agent, Jurrie van der Velden of Global Sports Communication. “We have big plans for Joshua, which will culminate in 2020, so we thought it prudent that he heals completely and focuses on the road season towards the end of the year. He is now fully healed and is looking forward to defending his title in Durban on 14 October.”

The 22-year-old is looking to improve on his 27:28 which is also a lifetime best.

“My training has been good. The injury is now healed. I know the route.  I know the conditions and am expecting a good race. My time from last year is in danger as I want to go around 27:20 or better, so over the next six weeks I will be sharpening up for Durban.”

Joshua Cheptegei has one race leading up to the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN, the Dam tot Damloop  in Zaadam, a 10 miler (16km) race on 23 September.

Having dealt with his injury, the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will be the perfect way to end his 2018 campaign.

Cheptegei won the silver medal at the World Championships in the 10000m in 2017 before going on to do the track double at the Commonwealth Games.

 

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