Joshua Cheptegei has gone into Coronavirus self-isolation after return from France where he broke the 16- year old 5000m world record at the 2020 Diamond League in Monaco on Friday.
In absence of merry-making because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Cheptegei who returned by road after landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya was escorted by officials from Uganda’s High Commission in Kenya and Kenya’s diplomatic Police.
At the Malaba border, the Ugandan High Commission officials handed Cheptegei to the Ministry of Education and Sports officials.
However, there was a lot of enthusiasm among the few Ugandan officials at the Malaba border who took turns in taking photos with the new world record holder.
Speaking after return, Cheptegei attributed his victory to hard work and resilience.
“What covid-19 has taught us is to be patient because trying to get to Monaco was a tug of war. I must thank all stakeholders who have been part of this whole journey,” he said.
“This is a true fulfillment and true proof that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is still alive and that the government is still at work even beyond Uganda’s borders.”
Tororo Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Were Yahaya who was among the officials who received Cheptegei applauded the runner for working hard.
“We are very happy with what you did for our country. Never give up and encourage the young generation to emulate you. As government, we are going to support you in everything.
Cheptegei was later escorted to Kapchorwa from where he will undergo self-isolation and later focus on the next competitions in October.
“I will train in the morning and remain in the camp until two weeks elapse then I can fully reunite with my family,” he said.
Cheptegei on Friday night set a new record after breaking the 16- year old 5000m world record at the 2020 Diamond League in Monaco when he posted a record time of 12:35.36 to beat Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele’s record of 12:37.35 he set in Hengelo, Netherlands in 2004.