Cheptegei fulfills his revenge against Barega

Cheptegei. / ef

The Ugandan, defeated by the Ethiopian in the Games, revalidates his world title of 10,000 meters in a brilliant final

Joshua Cheptegei was disappointed in Tokyo. He dreamed of Olympic glory in the form of a 5,000-10,000 double, but very soon his dream fell apart. A disappointing Ugandan tactic in the 10km left Selemon Barega alive and unforgiving. Cheptegei took good note of that and at the Eugene World Cup he made it clear that the lesson had been learned. After a colossal final lap, Cheptegei has become unbeatable, a wall that the Ethiopian Barega has not been able to overcome, to the point that the Ugandan has celebrated the victory while the Olympic champion has sunk to fifth place. Kiplimo's bronze has rounded off the Ugandan party, which aspires, this time, to the double that resisted in the Tokyo Olympic stadium.

Long-distance races in major championships, especially the 10 kilometres, have long become a strategy game among African countries. It's over that everyone go their own way. Now the game between Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya leaves finals like last night, brilliant from start to finish. And the party was joined by Carlos Mayo, the only Spaniard present in the race, who has decided to take command because a race at pace was convenient for him, no changes that would destroy his tactics. The Aragonese, 13th at the end after a great performance, remained in the lead until the third kilometer, at which point the tactical dance began.

Uganda has sent Kissa to the front, not as wildly as in Tokyo when he went solo. A matched move as Ethiopia advanced in position, while Kenya and the US athletes waited hidden in the group. But it has been on the way to the sixth kilometer when the final has taken temperature. Cheptegei has taken over, and from that moment his objective was to wear down his rivals with a progressive, constant rhythm, which has gradually frayed the leading group.

The final two kilometers have been intense, with at least eight athletes aspiring to everything. Among them the American Great Fisher, since last March the fastest white athlete in the distance with 26.33.84. The stadium only had eyes and encouragement for its athlete, but Cheptegei was not up for gifts ahead. After some attempts by the Kenyans and Ethiopians, the world record holder of 5 and 10 kilometers on track has regained control in the last lap. And he hasn't let them happen to him anymore. Selemon Barega has tried the same tactic as in the Games, hitting and breaking the Ugandan on the straight. But this time the lesson was already learned. And the opposite has happened. Cheptegei has flown without looking back. Barega has sunk and the party has been from Uganda. The United States has been left with honey on its lips for that fourth place of a brilliant Fisher. And Mayo has fought with the best with 27:50.61, 13th having the 16th mark among the participants.

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