President Yoweri Museveni and the First Lady Janet Museveni have congratulated Uganda’s runner Joshua Cheptegei upon winning setting a new world record after winning the 5000 metres race at the 2020 Monaco Diamond League on Friday.
The 23-year old pulled down Ethiopian runner Kenenisa Bekele’s 16yr old 5000 Metres World record with 12:35.36. Bekele in 2004 clocked 12:36:35 minutes.
The President in a post on social media said that Cheptegei has brought pride to the country.
“Congratulations to Joshua Cheptegei who has set a new 5,000m world record at the Monaco Diamond League. You have brought honour, pride and joy to your country. Well done,” wrote the President.
On her part, the first lady who also doubles as the Minister of Education and Sports hailed Cheptegei for keeping his word and again won the highly competitive race. She said Uganda is proud of him.
“Joshua Cheptegei, you have done it again. You have kept your promise to me and to Ugandans to win again. You have even gone ahead to break the World Record in 5,000m at the #MonacoDl . We are immensely proud of you. Congratulations and keep it up,” noted the Minister.
Cheptegei had earlier said winning the race will be a historical moment.
“Just to break it would be awesome for me even if by micro seconds. I mean of course not so many people can do world record. So it will be an historical moment,” said Cheptegei.
In February this year, he surpassed the world 5-kilometre record by clocking 12 minutes and 51 seconds at the Monaco Run held in Mediterranean Principality (Monaco, France). He took off an astonishing 27 seconds off the previous record by Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruno of 13:29.
Cheptegei was the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres champion at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He is the four-time winner of the Zevenheuvelenloop 15 km road race in Nijmegen, Netherlands.
In 2018, he set the world record for a 15 km road race. He finished in 41:05 and improved the world record by 8 seconds, formerly set by Leonard Komon at the Zevenheuvelenloop in 2010.
Cheptegei was also the winner of the senior men’s race at the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. He won in 31:40 on the 10.24 km course. On December 1, 2019, he set a new 10km road race record in Valencia, Spain. His time of 26:38 improved on the previous world record, set by Leonard Komon in 2010 by 6 seconds.