Uganda’s 5 Kilometer world record breaker Joshua Cheptegei has said that the country can with no doubt become an athletics powerhouse if proper training facilities are put in place.
Cheptegei smashed the 5km road world record in Monaco on Sunday, sprinting around the course in a time of 12 minutes, 51 seconds.
In his reply to a tweet from President Museveni who was congratulating him upon the success, Cheptegei called for proper facilities to be put in place.
“Your excellency, with proper facilities in place, Uganda will no doubt become the athletics power house,” Cheptegei said.
Cheptegei expressed his gratitude for the under construction Teryet high altitude training center but asked the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to be clear on the issue of the road access to the facility.
“There should be a proper dialogue with the locals who are affected by the road as to when UNRA is yet to compensate. This will then build trust and makes the construction process quick with no community constraints,” Cheptegei said.
UNRA, in its reply said that the project is a critical one but the community has been supportive and they are waiting for funds to be able to resettle the affected persons.
In December, Cheptegei ran 26:38 to break the 10km road world record, which had stood for almost 10 years, but that mark was bettered last month by Kipruto, who set new records at both 5km and 10km in his victory over the latter distance in Spain.
Cheptegei’s record-breaking time is subject to official World Athletics ratification procedures, as are Kipruto’s.
The Ugandan beat the most recently ratified 5km record of 13:22, set by Robert Keter in Lille on 9 November, and also the fastest time ever recorded for the distance, Sammy Kipketer’s 13:00 in Carlsbad, USA, in 2000.
The 5km only became an official world record event in November 2017.