Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega will take on Diamond Trophy holder Berihu Aregawi in a deep elite field in the 5000m race at the fifth leg of Diamond League meeting that will be on 9th June 2022 in Rome, Italy.
Barega who is the fifth fastest runner (behind Joshua Cheptegei, Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, and Daniel Komen) in history with a time of 12:43.02 that he got when winning the 2018 Diamond Trophy in Brussels four years ago.
The 22 year-old is a two-time 3000m World Indoor Championship medallist, taking a silver in 2018, and a gold in 2022 in Belgrade, will take on his compatriot, Aregawi who is reigning Diamond League champion.
Aregawi is the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics 3000m silver medallist and he is also the bronze medalist in the 10000m race at the 2018 World Athletics U20 Champion.
The 21 year-old set the fifth fastest time of 7:26.20 in 3000m history at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe which was the first of this season’s seven World Indoor Tour Gold meetings.
Barega and Aregawi will be joined by the double World 5000m Champiom, Muktar Edris and Yomif Kejelcha, who claimed the Diamond League title in 2015 and set a 3000m Diamond League record of 7:26.25 in Oslo last year.
That time bettered the previous series record of 7:26.64 that had been set by Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo a year earlier in the same city.
Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) has revealed the official 2022 medal designs for participating runners at the 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, that will be held on Saturday (19) in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
World-class runners set to compete in the race include Abel Kipchumba, Jacob Kiplimo, Brigid Kosgei, and reigning champion of the 2020 Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon, Ababel Yeshaneh.
The organisers have commissioned four, stunning designs and lanyards – one for each category: Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, 5km and 1 mile, with each medal featuring high-quality gloss and matte metallic finishes. The intricate bespoke design includes the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon’s familiar runner icon and RAKTDA’s new ‘Rakahida’ logo, which is inspired by the ‘‘kashida’’ from traditional Arabic calligraphy.
The colours for the medals have been carefully selected and represent Ras Al Khaimah’s three key natural elements and core values, the sea with its perpetual swelling and subsiding, the desert with its undulating dunes, and the mountains with its staggering elevations. The design of the medals cleverly depicts the journey into the nature-based Emirate, starting with the exciting coast, slowly moving into the mystic desert, and then onto the greatness of the mountains.
Ethiopia’s Nibret Melak will be looking to retain his title at the 90th milestone edition of the Cinque Mulini in San Vittore Olona – the 11th Gold level meeting of this season’s World Athletics Cross Country Tour – on Sunday (30).
Melak made a major breakthrough in March 2021 during the top two Italian cross country races when he finished second at the Campaccio in San Giorgio su Legnano behind Jacob Kiplimo and went on to win the Cinque Mulini one week later, beating Leonard Bett. The 22-year-old Ethiopian runner enjoyed a successful track season, setting a 5000m PB of 12:54.22 at the Hengelo Continental Tour Gold meeting. Last autumn he achieved two top-three spots in the World Athletics Cross Country Tour, finishing third at the Cross de Italica in Santiponce near Seville and second in Venta de Banos.
Melak will take on his younger compatriot Tadese Worku, who won the gold medal in the 3000m and silver in the 5000m at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi last August. Two years ago Worku was outsprinted by Leonard Bett in the final lap of the Cinque Mulini and had to settle for second place. This season the 20-year-old finished second at the Cross de Italica in Seville last November and won the Boclassic 10km road race on 31 December.
Worku, who came to the fore in the U20 race at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Aarhus in 2019, clocked 26:56 in the 10km road race in Herzogenaurach last October.
Another Ethiopian rising star in the line-up is Bikila Tadese Takele, who won the silver medal in 3000m steeplechase at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi. Takele improved his PB to 8:09.37 in Hengelo and came close to that time a few days later, when he finished second in 8:10.56 in the Diamond League meeting in Florence.
The Ethiopian athletes will face stiff opposition from 20-year-old Ugandan runner Oscar Chelimo, who won the bronze medal at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018 and finished third in the individual race and second in the team competition at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships.
Chelimo, who is the younger brother of Jacob Kiplimo, won the Boclassic race in Bolzano in 2020 and finished fourth in last year’s edition of the Cinque Mulini. On the track, Chelimo took fifth place in the 5000m at the 2019 African Games in the 5000m in Rabat and crossed the finish line seventh over the same distance at the World U20 Championships in Tampere in 2018. Uganda will be also represented by Samuel Kibet, who won the silver medal at the African U20 Championships in Abidjan in 2019.
The Cinque Mulini has always lived up to its tradition of serving as a springboard for future athletics stars, who continued their careers by winning global medals at the World Championships and the Olympic Games. The rising stars to watch this year are Kenyan runners Levy Kibet, who won the bronze medal in the 5000m at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, and 17-year-old Daniel Kinyanjui, who finished second in the Kenyan World U20 Trials in Nairobi in the 3000m. Also Eritrean runner Habtom Samuel, who finished third in the 3000m at the 2021 World U20 Championships. Eritrea has not won the men’s race at the Cinque Mulini since Zersenay Tadese’s triumph in 2008.
The Italian challenge is led by Ahmed Abdelwahed, who clocked the fourth fastest national time in the 3000m steeplechase when clocking 8:12.04 at the Golden Gala in Florence last June, and twin brothers Ala Zoghlami (ninth in the Olympic final in the 3000m steeplechase in 8:18.50 after improving his PB to 8:14.06 in the heats) and Osama Zoghlami, who set his 3000m steeplechase PB by clocking 8:14.29 at the Golden Gala in Florence.
The Italian contingent is rounded out by Sergiy Polikarpenko, who won the European U20 silver medal in the 10,000m in Grosseto in 2017, and Ahmed Ouhda, who recently set his PB on the road clocking 28:41 at the Valencia 10km Ibercaja race on 9 January.
Kenya’s Abel Kipchumba will battle the world half marathon record holder Jacob Kiplimo at the 15th edition of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon that will be held on Saturday, 19th February, in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
Kipchumba secured the second-fastest time in the 2021 Half Marathon distance category, with a personal best of 58:07 that he got at the Adizero Road to Records in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
The 27 years-old would not have an easy leeway as he will face the half marathon biggest obstacle in recent times, the inform Kiplimo.
The 21 year-old dominated the race on his way to beating his closest rival by more than two minutes, as he took one second off the previous world record set by Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie in Valencia in 2020.
The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist in 10000m and fifth in the 5000m, covered the opening 5km in 13:40, 10km mark in 27:05, and passed through 15km in 40:27.
But Kipchumba will be expected to deliver an exciting competition and add to a series of world-class records including first place at the 2021 Valencia Half Marathon and second place in the 2020 Napoli City Half Marathon.
Kipchumba and Kiplimo will attack the race course record of 58:42 set by two Kenyans Bedan Karoki in 2018 and Stephen Kiprop in 2019.
Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, stated, “The unveiling of the race routes, technical sponsor and elite athletes of the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon marks an important milestone. The marathon has proven to be a huge success in previous years, and with only a few weeks till the upcoming race, we are excited to welcome back an incredible line-up of athletes and sports enthusiasts to our wonderful Emirate.”
The event will take place with robust safety precautions to safeguard the health and wellbeing of participants and spectators. Participants will have to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.
From Athing Mu and Karsten Warholm on the track, to Peres Jepchirchir and Des Linden on the roads, these runs kept us on the edges of our seats.
After a year of race cancellations in 2020 because of COVID-19, in-person competition returned in a big way in 2021—and with it came a slew of historic performances.
The Tokyo Olympics this summer featured a number of world records and exciting podium finishes. Collegians broke through during their full season comeback to set records and mix it up with pros. And the World Marathon Majors returned with all six races scheduled within 42 days of each other, paving the way for some unprecedented accomplishments in the fall.
With a year’s worth of competition to reflect on, the Runner’s World editors picked 10 races that stood out from the rest. Here are the performances that put us on the edge of our seats in 2021.
Sydney McLaughlin Breaks the World Record—Twice
This year, Sydney McLaughlin solidified herself as the greatest 400-meter hurdler of all time. The then-21-year-old kicked off the championship portion of her season by winning the final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in 51.90, shattering the world record set by fellow Team USA standout Dalilah Muhammad at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
In Tokyo, McLaughlin won Olympic gold in 51.46, improving on her world record.
Allyson Felix celebrates winning her 11th Olympic medal.
Allyson Felix becomes the most decorated track star in U.S. history
In her fifth Olympic Games, Allyson Felix clocked two stunning performances. The first was in the women’s 400-meter final when the champion sprinter earned bronze in 49.46, her 10th Olympic medal. The podium finish made her the most decorated female Olympian in track and field, and she passed Merlene Ottey and tied Carl Lewis, who has 10, as the most decorated American athlete in track and field.
Days later, Felix passed Lewis in the record books when she contributed to Team USA’s gold medal in the 4×400-meter relay. With a 49.38-second second lap, Felix maintained the lead for the Americans, who ultimately won in 3:16.85—a time less than two seconds off the world record of 3:15.17.
Karsten Warholm goes into Hulk mode after setting the world record
A few weeks after breaking the previous world record in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, Karsten Warholm shattered the time again by winning Olympic gold in 45.94. The Norwegian came out on top in an all-out sprint to the finish against Team USA’s Rai Benjamin to claim his first Olympic medal and improve on the previous record of 46.70 set in Oslo in July.
Warholm’s performance in Tokyo marked the first time in history that an athlete has run under the 46-second barrier in the 400-meter hurdles. His celebration was also a major highlight; after seeing his time, the 25-year-old was overcome with emotion and ripped apart his jersey.
Molly Seidel takes bronze in the Olympic marathon
In her third 26.2 ever, Molly Seidel became the third American in history and the first since 2004 to earn a podium spot at the Olympic Games. During the marathon in Sapporo, the Notre Dame graduate put in a hard surge with 5K remaining to finish third in 2:27:46.
The breakthrough performance was the latest in a series of successes at the distance. Seidel made her marathon debut at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, where she finished second to make her first Olympic team. In October 2020, she lowered her personal best to 2:25:13 at the London Marathon.
Three months after Tokyo, Seidel improved still by finishing fourth at the New York City Marathon in 2:24:42, bettering the American course record set by Kara Goucher in 2008.
Teenager Athing Mu becomes first American since 1968 to win Olympic gold in the 800 meters
Capping off a season that rewrote the record books, Athing Mu led the women’s 800-meter final wire-to-wire to win Olympic gold. In the process of clocking 1:55.21 in Tokyo, the 19-year-old became the first American gold medalist in the event since Madeline Manning Mims in 1968. She also lowered her own American record.
As a freshman at Texas A&M, she set collegiate records in the 400 and 800 meters before winning two NCAA outdoor titles and later turning pro. The Tokyo Games was Mu’s first open international competition.
Eliud Kipchoge repeats as Olympic champion with huge winning margin
After pulling away from the pack at mile 19, Eliud Kipchoge cruised to victory for the second time to repeat as champion in the men’s marathon at the Olympic Games. In Sapporo, the world record-holder from Kenya finished in 2:08:38, 1:20 ahead of silver medalist Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands. His winning margin is the biggest since Frank Shorter won the 1972 Olympic marathon.
Peres Jepchirchir wins back-to-back marathons
Just 13 weeks after winning the Olympic women’s marathon, Peres Jepchirchir won the New York City Marathon and became the first person since Shorter in 1972 to earn Olympic gold and then come to a major fall marathon and win again.
The Kenyan finished in 2:27:20 on a sweltering day in Sapporo on August 7, besting world record-holder and countrywoman Brigid Kosgei. On November 7, the two-time half marathon world champion fought off competitors Viola (Lagat) Cheptoo and Ababel Yeshaneh on the final stretch to secure another victory in Central Park. She covered the New York City course in 2:22:39.
Jacob Kiplimo breaks the half marathon world record
On November 21, Jacob Kiplimo lowered the world record by winning the Lisbon Half Marathon in 57:31, a 4:23/mile pace. The Olympic bronze medalist from Uganda improved on the previous world record of 57:32 set by Kibiwott Kandie at the Valencia Half Marathon in December 2020.
Kiplimo raced a mostly solo effort, breaking away from the competition just after 3K, and blazed through the 15K in 40:27—the fastest time ever recorded for the distance. He slowed down slightly in the later stages but held on just enough to dip under the record.
Des Linden sets the 50K record
A little over a year after finishing an agonizing fourth place at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, Des Linden set her sights on a thrilling new challenge: The 50K world record.
On April 13, on a deserted bike path outside of Eugene, Oregon, the two-time Olympian covered 50K (31.06 miles) in 2:59:54, more than seven minutes faster than the previous record of 3:07:20, set by British ultrarunner Aly Dixon in 2019. Linden averaged 5:47/mile pace to set the new record.
Two collegians make the Olympic team in the men’s 1500 meters
The men’s 1500-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials was a nail-biter, with plenty of exciting buildup to set the stage for an upset and a rivalry.
During the NCAA regular season, then-Oregon runners Cooper Teare and Cole Hocker broke the NCAA indoor mile record by running 3:50.39 and 3:50.55, respectively, on February 12 in Arkansas. In May, Notre Dame runner Yared Nuguse broke the collegiate record in the 1500 meters by clocking a solo 3:34.68 in the first round of the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In June, Nuguse and Hocker faced off at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, where Hocker out-kicked Nuguse. The middle-distance stars met again two weeks later as only two collegians in the 1500-meter final at the Trials in Eugene, Oregon.
With an all-out sprint down the homestretch, Hocker won the national title in 3:35:28, beating 2016 Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz, who finished second. Nuguse secured his place on the Olympic team by placing third, but he withdrew from the Games with a quad strain.
The National Council of Sports (NCS) met its pledge of rewarding all athletes who excelled at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics on Tuesday.
For their gold medals in the 5000m and 3000m steeplechase, Joshua Cheptegei and Peruth Chemutai got Shs50m each, respectively.
Cheptegei picked another Shs30m for the 10000m silver while Jacob Kiplimo received Shs20m for bronze in the same race.
Paralympian David Emong’s bronze in the 1500m T46 race got him Shs20m.
Uganda had a team of 25 at the Olympics and another four for the Paralympics. Each of these received another Shs1m in addition to their allowances which were paid in July.
“We made history but now hope that we break that history because we are now a powerhouse in sports,” sports minister Hamson Obua said.
“Sport is no longer a liability to the country. It is now a big asset. Life is journey. You won’t be an athlete forever.
“This is your time, your moment and you are lucky that we can also reward you. Some were not as lucky.
“From the little proceeds you are getting, save wisely. Save for the future,” Obua advised.
NCS General Secretary Dr Bernard Patrick Ogwel was pleased to meet this commitment.
“We prioritized rewarding athletes as one of the ways of promoting sports,” NCS General Secretary Dr Benard Patrick Ogwel told a media briefing at the Lugogo Sports Complex.
Upon their return from Japan, President Museveni hosted the team to a state luncheon where he gave Chemutai, Cheptegei and Kiplimo cars. He also promised to build their parents houses.
Reward and recognition scheme
In 2018, the agency paid out Shs100m for medals won at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia but there’s no reward and recognition policy in place yet.
For his 5,000 and 10,000m double, Cheptegei pocketed Shs50m. Stella Chesang received Shs20m for winning the 10,000m women’s race.
Solomon Mutai, who won silver in the marathon, earned Shs15m while Mercyline Chelangat and Juma Miiro got Shs7.5m each for bronze in the 10,000m and boxing respectively.
NCS also gave Emong Shs30m for his Gold at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London plus Shs20m for Silver at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not pay prize money to medalists, many countries offer monetary rewards to their athletes for the number of medals they win at the Olympics.
Shs2.7b for Gold
At the Tokyo 2020 Games, Singapore is paying the most for medals. Any Gold is worth $737,000 (Shs2.7b), $369,000 (Shs1.3b) for Silver and bronze comes with $184,000 (Shs680m) in prize money.
The prize money is taxable and awardees are required to return a portion of it to their national sports associations for future training and development.
Singapore’s prize money is 20 times more than USA.
More than 600 US athletes competed at Tokyo 2020.
The US Olympic and Paralympic committee rewards athletes $37,500 (Shs138m) for every gold medal won, $22,500 (Shs83m) for silver and $15,000 (Shs55m) for bronze.
Most of the prize money is not taxable unless athletes report gross income that exceeds $1 million (Shs3.7b).
US athletes also receive other forms of support including health insurance, access to top-tier medical facilities and college tuition assistance for student athletes.
The sporting economy in the US allows athletes to better monetise their talents as most of it is driven by the private sector.
In countries such as Singapore, India and Uganda, many of the national sporting initiatives are driven by governments that sometimes use higher monetary rewards to encourage a growing sporting culture.
Olympic 1500m champion Jacob Ingebrigtsen could threaten long-standing continental time at the Lausanne Diamond League that will be held on 26th August in Lausanne, Switzerland
Ingebrigtsen has a European record in his sights that was set 21 years ago by Mohammed Mourhit in the 3000m mark of 7:26.62 in Monaco and one-year before he was suspended for using EPO.
The 20 year-old ran 7:27.05 in Rome last year when he finished close behind Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo.
Andy Butchart, will also be aiming to crack at Mo Farah’s UK record of 7:32.62 in what promises to be a fast race.
During the Prefontaine Classic meet in Eugene, the Norwegian wonder kid was on fire as he trounced the reigning world champion Timothy Cheruiyot in 3:47.24, which is a world-leading time, national record and Diamond League record which made him history’s ninth fastest outdoor performer. It’s also the fastest outdoor time in the world in seven years, since Ayanleh Souleiman ran the previous Prefontaine record, 3:47.32 in 2014.
Usually, the human mind struggles with convincing itself of two contradicting ideas at the same time.
However, if Joshua Cheptegei called the curtains on his career today, he would go an unsatisfied man despite not only being Uganda’s best Olympian – owing to his 5000m gold and 10,000m silver at the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Games – but also its greatest athlete ever.
Cheptegei is a world champion and record holder in both distances too.
“Yes, the dream was to win Olympic gold and that was finally fulfilled but that goes without saying that I did not deliver it in my best event and that hurts me,” a relaxed but reflecting Cheptegei told Nation Media Group in an interview last Thursday after launching a 100 days fundraising campaign to complete works at his training centre in Kapchorwa.
“That now is the unfinished business and I pray for good health and life to be able to deliver that at Paris 2024.”
The distance runner looks forward to start working on that at next year’s World Athletics Championships “where it all started for me as a junior champion in Oregon (USA) in 2014.”
Kissa played team
Despite a track designed to aid fast running in Tokyo, the humid conditions made for a slower race in the 10,000m final on July 31 at the Olympic Stadium.
“You see, when you are going to war, you plan but you cannot know what your opponent will have in store for you. Normally for us, we run a faster race and by the time it is ending, no one can catch us. But the conditions played in their (opponents) favour,” Cheptegei said.
“First, I was in good condition but I think we took long to adjust to the time zones. Personally, I was sleeping at around 3am but also on the day of the race, it was very humid so we could not run as fast.”
Cheptegei was joined by compatriot Jacob Kiplimo on the podium for bronze.
But then Stephen Kissa, Uganda’s third member in the race who exited after 16 laps, did start fast.
“I want to assure you that Kissa played to team instructions. We were trying to find out who among the Ethiopians and Kenyans was more aggressive or stronger. And you saw Barega and the Kenyans follow him,” Cheptegei said.
His decision to extend the Shs25m reward from MTN to Kiplimo so the latter could extend his Shs10m to Kissa is testament to this team play.
Back in Tokyo, the antagonists seemed to realise what was going on and checked their pace. The Ugandans duo fell for their own bait instead.
“What I should have done is attack the race in the last quarter – breakaway in the last 2000m. That would have made it hard for anyone to follow me.
“But I hesitated and instead decided to go for it in the last 400m and as it turned out, that was too late,” Cheptegei added.
Only aggression could do
Cheptegei said he was lost in thought – perhaps regret – till he logged onto his Twitter and turned on his WhatsApp, where he was greeted to outpouring love from Ugandans, who believed he could do the job in the 5000m.
“So we sat in a meeting with my brother Kiplimo and coach Benjamin Njia and decided that to be at peace in that race, I had to be aggressive,” he said.
“I was pushed by your (Ugandans) messages on social media. I started to ask myself how the fastest man in the world in these two events could return home without at least one gold. Cheptegei does not like to give up and that is the right mindset that I want Ugandans to have.”
His message will first go to himself to finish the business and Paris 2024 and maybe even at Los Angeles 2028. Then he will extend it to the rest of his teammates.