After world 5000m record, Cheptegei is on track to achieve global domination

Joshua Cheptegei had a simple plan.

Sixteen months ago, beside the picturesque cross country course in Aarhus, Denmark, where he had just won his first senior world title, the then 22-year-old Ugandan laid out his strategy for world domination.

With his first global triumph secure, the next object of his desire was to succeed Mo Farah as the 10,000m title-holder at the World Championships in Doha.

And then?

“My ambition is to dominate the track for the next five or six years,” Cheptegei said.

The audacity was startling, but no more than the delivery has been since. So far it is happening as if it was ordained.

With relatively few cases of Covid-19 in Uganda, the lockdown was relaxed two months ago and Cheptegei returned to a more normal regime with his training partners.

“I honestly really missed competing,” he said. “It’s something I love doing, it’s in my blood.”

He targeted the Monaco meeting and made no secret of his desire to take down the great Kenenisa Bekele’s monumental 5000m world record of 12:37.35, set more than 16 years ago in Hengelo, Netherlands.