Cheptegei to headline Ostrava tour

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 00:00 |
Joshua Cheptegei celebrates his win at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. Photo/AFP

Ostrava, Tuesday

World 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei will headline the 60th edition of the Golden Spike in Ostrava, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, today in the Czech Republic.

 Cheptegei is the 10th man in history to hold the 5,000m and 10,000m world records concurrently, both set in 2020.

 He will try to go one better and become just the third man to hold the 3,000m, 5,000m, and 10,000m records simultaneously today.

 He was the winner of the senior men’s race at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark after finishing in 31:40 on the 10.24km course.

 Cheptegei’s current best for 3000m is 7:33.26, but the enlisting of Australia’s Stewart McSweyn,  a 7:28 man, as pacemaker, suggests that Cheptegei is ready to take a massive chunk off that. 

 If conditions are favourable, he looks primed to challenge Daniel Komen’s 3,000m world record of 7:20.67, which has stood for 25 years.

 The world 10,000m champion sharpened his speed last month with a 3:37.36 1,500m PB at altitude in Kampala. Olympic ,5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo is likely to be his closest pursuer.

 “I want to use this competition to sharpen my speed ahead of the Olympics,” Cheptegei said.

 He has an ace pacemaker in Australia’s Stewart McSweyn, who ran 3:30 and 7:28 last year, and will also benefit from the pacing light system that aided Cheptegei in his world records in Monaco and Valencia last  year. 

  Cheptegei also has Nike’s superspikes, which have made Komen’s once-untouchable record seem more attainable. 

For eight years from 2012 through 2019  no man broke 7:28 for 3,000m.

 In the last eight months, five men have done it, all in Nike spikes.  - World Athletics 

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