MCM: Joshua Cheptegei, A man of triumph building a generational presence.
Written by Derrick Asaba on September 6, 2021
A single achievement gives birth to several ideas that tend to resonate with the former ideology. If this is a thing to mark reference on, Joshua Cheptegei’s journey can best give it life.
He is widely known for his athletic background world over but this doesn’t sum it all up. As nectar is to bees, so is his talent to victory which has attracted more triumphant letters to his name.
A few days into the month of August, he launched 100 days of the Joshua Cheptegei Training Centre Fundraising drive themed as ‘Run With Cheptegei’ aimed at raising UGX 1.7 Billion ($500.000) for building a world-class athletics training centre in Kapchorwa district.
His dream to build this great architectural plan is as old as three years ago. In November 2018, Cheptegei procured land 30 acres in his home district and started the construction of the high altitude centre.
Construction is of a world-class hostel facility with fitness and other related equipment for athletes in the region and globally, more so, will be named after him.
Pushing his dream zealously, Cheptegei believes that the centre will not only be a pedestal of training but also an accelerator of success for both local and international athletes.
A museum is also part of this broad plan and will further boost tourism with different artefacts preserved there.
Crushing on him is never far from righteousness for his life journey is an open book to everyone but most importantly, a journey of inspiration especially to athletes who are on their baby steps in many parts of the world.
It takes an ambitious heart and mind to go an extra mile after hitting the first attempt and things turn out rather otherwise. The Ugandan long-distance runner, Joshua Cheptegei shields this character.
Recently, after striking the Tokyo 2020 Olympics gold win, Cheptegei said that, “It’s really a great moment. I made a small mistake and I was regretting (having) to become a silver medalist. I came here to become an Olympic champion and my dream has been fulfilled today in a beautiful evening.”
Competing against strong men, Cheptegei, 24, said that this was not it all but only the strongest in the mind had to win.
“I knew I was strong in the mind because I broke a couple of world records,” Cheptegei said.
His name is such a global pronouncement not only as a long-distance runner but also a World Record Holder. Even though his success was somewhat delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, its (Tokyo 2020) eventual announcement opened doors that ushered in matchless triumph on a personal level and of course, the nation at large.
Besides other heroes and heroines in the Athletics sport like Stephen Kiprotich and Dorcus Inzikuru who for long are remembered to have waved the National flag wide and across, Cheptegei has done all he has. He is that strong brick on the Athletics building in Uganda.
More About Cheptegei
Born on September 12, 1996 to Stephenson Munerya Kwalya and Irene Chemusto of Kapchorwa District, Cheptegei is a Ugandan long-distance runner, Olympic Gold Medalist (5000m), World Champion (10,000m), World Cross Country Champion, and World Record Holder.
It is recorded that while in primary school, Cheptegei first played football and tried out the long jump and triple jump, but later on dived into running when he discovered his talent in distance running.
Coached by Addy Ruiter, he broke Kenenisa Bekele’s 16-year-old record by almost 2 seconds in the 5000 metres in Monaco in August 2020 and also set a world record time of 26:11.00 in the 10000 metres by more than 6 seconds on October 7, 2020 in Valencia in the World records.
He is a silver medallist in the 10,000 metres at the 2017 World Championships in London. He also competed in the 10,000 metres at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, finishing ninth. He ran at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres, finishing eighth and sixth respectively.
Cheptegei is a four-time winner of the Zevenheuvelenloop 15 km road race in Nijmegen, Netherlands. He was the winner of the senior men’s race at the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.
Cheptegei won the 35th edition gala top award having set the Athletics scene alight in 2019; the Sports personality of the year.