World 5000m record holder Joshua Cheptegei produced a 55-second final lap to become the first Ugandan to win the event as he bagged the Olympic gold at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics games.
The 24-year-old set the pace early in the 12-and-a-half-lap race but was soon overtaken by a host of his competitors on a balmy evening at the Olympic Stadium.
Cheptegei unleashed a magic kick to to cross the line in 12:58.15 ahead of Canada’s Mohammad Ahmed and Chelimo.
It was easily the quickest 5000m Olympic final since Bekele’s victory in Beijing 13 years ago, and Cheptegei looked to ease to victory when he took full control on the final lap.
“It’s really a great moment,” the Ugandan hero said after the race. “I made a small mistake and I was regretting [having] to become a silver medallist. I came here to become an Olympic champion and my dream has been fulfilled today in a beautiful evening.”
BREAKING: Joshua Cheptegei for the GOLD in 5000m!
— Ministry of Education and Sports – Uganda (@Educ_SportsUg) August 6, 2021
Chelimo claimed the bronze medal with a season’s best time of 12:59:05.