By Javier Silas Omagor
After a bravely impressive Diamond League gold winning performance last month (June), Joshua Cheptegei, is heading back to Eugene, Oregon in USA oozing with confidence.
Cheptegei is captaining team Uganda at World Athletics Championships 2022 hoping for absolute personal and team performances.
Speaking exclusively to Kampala Sun, the 10km World record–holder and defending champion revealed that he does “not fear any one.”
“It is the mindset, preparations, fitness levels, conviction and belief that count.
“As a world record holder and defending champion all eyes will be on me and I know it. Rivals will target me but am looking forward to my records and, particularly, on how to outcompete my own best.
“Oregon will be a great challenge, I and the coaches have done the very best preparation we were targeting and now all is up to me to reproduce all these amazing things we have done as a group,” Cheptegei, also Olympics gold medallist (Tokyo) said.
Indeed the Uganda Police Athletics Club superstar knows everything about how to handle the pressure considering his wealthy experience.
“In situations like this (attempting to defend the world championship title) you have to take it in that you are the very best at whatever you do, that is what I believe in.
“My eyes are not on who is on the start-list (Squad) but how best I can prepare to run my best race ever,” the 25 year old retaliated.
The Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) is also the 5km world record holder and will forward to perform well in this race too.
“I have two races in Oregon (5000m and 10000m) this month and my plan is to give 100% in each one of them,” Kapchorwa district born world icon said.
It should be noted that Oregon and USA in general hold a special place in Cheptegei’’s career owing to the fact that this was where his first major medal emanated from.
“USA is my holy place and a land of magic because my career started from there and I hope that my return goes the right way,” the former Busitema University stated.
The NN Running Team athlete continued: “It is about getting my head wrapped up in the race and disconnecting from destructive emotions as much as possible.”
This season alone, in his last two competitions in Oregon, the newly crowned Team Uganda captain has clinched gold twice both in Diamond Leagues, with the latest coming through last month.
Cheptegei also won the famous Cannes 10K while running in France in May this year stretching his gold winning sweep from the Olympics and Eugene Diamond League.
Due to cancellations, personal commitment and illness, Uganda’s greatest athlete of all times missed out in the 7 Hills in the Netherlands, and Valencia run (Spain) late last year and early this year, respectively.
Gracefully, as the World championships, the ultimate competition in world athletics draws closer, Cheptegei is all but in good health and raring to go.
If his training performances are a thing to go by and, with all factors constant, it is close to impossible to stop the Ugandan from reclaiming his prestigious gong in 10000m and possibly launch an assault on 5000m as well.
The Police senior ranking officer will start his show in Oregon on Saturday 16th in 10km, a race he tussles out with compatriots Jacob Kiplimo and Stephen Kisa.
Cheptegei and co will hope that conditions favor them much more than they will for the guys coming from across the globe in such glory in this category.