Ugandan star Joshua Cheptegei outlines key conditions for athletes aiming to break world records

Ugandan star Joshua Cheptegei outlines key conditions for athletes aiming to break world records

Mark Kinyanjui 07:10 - 31.05.2024

Cheptegei, who is the reigning 5000 and 10000m record holder, has revealed the conditions all athletes wishing to break world records need.

Reigning 5000 and 10,000m world record holder Joshua Cheptegei has shared his insights on the conditions necessary for aspiring athletes to break long-standing world records in their pursuit of greatness. 

At the age of 27, Cheptegei has already achieved numerous milestones. He is the reigning Olympic champion in the 5000m, a three-time World champion in the 10,000m, and has secured gold medals in both the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. 

Notably, Cheptegei is the tenth man in history to hold both the 5000m and 10,000m world records concurrently, which he set in 2020.

Speaking at an open media forum ahead of the Oslo Diamond League meet on Thursday, Cheptegei emphasized the importance of several key factors for achieving record-breaking performances. 

"What is most important is being a healthy athlete. Being focused and having the right things together in place, especially being in the right shape, right mentality, and also the right atmosphere," he said.

Cheptegei acknowledged the role of luck in athletic success, noting that even with perfect preparation, unforeseen circumstances can hinder performance. 

"Sometimes, you can fail to be lucky enough. You can prepare well and obviously, all these guys here seated next to me at some point were chasing after something but then because of some bad situations, you may find yourself not hitting your targets, let’s say, if the weather is bad," he explained.

 He highlighted the importance of favorable conditions and effective organization in achieving record-breaking performances. 

"You have to pray there is a chance that the weather is going to be favorable, that the atmosphere is going to be incredible, as well as the organization. Then everything is going to fall in place."

Cheptegei remains optimistic about the future of record-breaking in athletics, viewing records as achievements to be surpassed.

 "Records are there to be broken, so it is not like one man’s agenda to break the world record. If something is there for someone to break, then it is achievable," he concluded.

Cheptegei's impressive record-breaking streak began on 1 December 2019, when he set a new 10 km road race world record in Valencia, Spain, with a time of 26:38, surpassing Leonard Komon's 2010 record by 6 seconds.

 This record was short-lived, as it was further improved to 26:24 by Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya on 12 January 2020, also in Valencia. 

On 16 February 2020, Cheptegei continued his streak by setting a new 5 km road race world record in Monaco with a time of 12:51, obliterating the previous record of 13:22 set by Robert Keter and the fastest time ever recorded over the distance of 13:00 by Sammy Kipketer.

Cheptegei's remarkable achievements did not stop there. On 13 August 2020, at the Herculis meet of the Diamond League in Monaco, he aimed to break the world record in the 5000 meters.

 With the assistance of expert pacemakers, he successfully set a new world record with a time of 12:35.36, breaking Kenenisa Bekele's 16-year-old record by nearly 2 seconds. His splits for the race were 2:31.87, 5:03.77, 7:35.14, and 10:05.46. Bekele, from Addis Ababa, congratulated Cheptegei on his remarkable achievement.

Continuing his extraordinary form, on 7 October 2020, Cheptegei set another world record in the 10,000 meters in Valencia, with a time of 26:11.00, surpassing Bekele's 15-year-old record by more than 6 seconds.

 These achievements have cemented Cheptegei's status as one of the greatest long-distance runners, consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the sport.

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