Joshua Cheptegei scores world 10,000m hat-trick

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Ugandan runner bounces back from knee injury to take his third world title in Budapest

Not only did Joshua Cheptegei win his third world 10,000m title on the trot, but he did it despite wrestling with knee problems in the past 12 months.

The Ugandan clocked 27:51.42 on Sunday (Aug 20) to seal a golden hat-trick. His previous world titles came in Doha in 2019 and Eugene in 2022 although since his American victory 12 months ago he has struggled with runner’s knee issues before getting back into full training in time to defend his crown in Budapest.

“I am very excited and proud that I have succeed in winning my third world title in a row,” he said. “This was the best possible way to end the season.”

He makes his marathon debut in Valencia in December and suggests he might tackle 26.2 miles at the Paris Games next year instead of defending his Olympic 5000m title.

“This might be my last championships at the track and that’s why this gold medal means even more. I am proud that I have an amazing team around me and with our work together we made it possible.”

Cheptegei is only 26 but is building a resume that places him right up there with the all-time distance running greats. As well as his world 10,000m hat-trick and Olympic 5000m gold, he holds world records for 5000m and 10,000m with 12:35.36 and 26:11.00.

Joshua Cheptegei (Getty)

Cheptegei’s team-mate Joel Akeyo opened a gap on the rest of the field in the early stages but he was soon pulled back as the runners passed halfway in 14:21. With temperatures in the stadium 32-33C, Selemon Barega and Berihu Aregawi of Ethiopia then had spells at the front but Cheptegei moved into pole position with 600m to go as the pace began to lift.

At the bell Cheptegei looked in control with Barega looking like his biggest rival. The Ugandan powered around the final lap, though, seeing off Barega as they entered the home straight.

Realising victory had gone, Barega slipped back in the final metres and was overtaken by Daniel Ebenyo of Kenya in the race for silver in 27:52.60. Easing to victory head, Cheptegei ran his final 800m in 1:53 and 400m in 53.45.

Aregawi was fourth with Bernard Kibet of Kenya fifth and Mo Ahmed of Canada the first non-African home in sixth.

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Credit TO Owner