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Uganda's Olympic champion Cheptegei to start 2022 season in France

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-02-24 09:55
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Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda beats Paul Chelimo of the United States to the finish line to win the 2 Mile race during the Wanda Diamond League Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Aug 21, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

KAMPALA - Joshua Cheptegei, who won a 5,000m gold and a 10,000m silver for Uganda at Tokyo 2020, will start his 2022 season with a 10km road run in Cannes, France, early next month.

Olympic gold medalist and world champion Cheptegei told Xinhua on Wednesday that he is looking forward to taking part in the event.

"I have been training and opening the season with the 10km road run will be a good start for me as I prepare to break more records in the new season," the runner said.

Cheptegei said although he has spent some time without taking part in road races, he feels it is the right time to get back.

"I am happy to return to the French Riviera to start off my 2022 season. It's been two and a half years since the last time I ran 10km on the road, so it will be exciting to see where I am at the moment," he noted.

Cheptegei last took part in a road race in 2019 when he smashed the world record over 10km, crossing the finishing line in 26 minutes and 38 seconds. His record was later lowered by Kenya's Rhonex Kipruto by 14 seconds.

The athlete intends to use the races in the months before July to prepare for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham between July 28 and August 8.

Dominic Otuchet, president of the Uganda Athletics Federation, said it is important for athletes to start the season early in the year.

"We are confident that Cheptegei and other athletes have the potential to perform better than they have done," Otuchet said.

Last weekend, fellow Ugandan athlete Jacob Kiplimo won the 2022 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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