Cannes 10K event is a sports event that was established in 1999 and is highly competitive given the huge volumes of top athletes it attracts annually and this weekend, the Uganda monster will be one of them.
Having been out of action for seven months, Cheptegei will hope that he begins from where he left in August 2021 when he won the Diamond League in Oregon.
The 25-year-old also won a gold and silver medal in Olympic Tokyo, Japan in the aforementioned months.
Since then, the police officer had a personal commitment, cancellations, and illness to blame for his prolonged absence.
Now, following his arrival in the European country earlier today, the world’s 5000m and 10000 meters record holder is poised to produce a classy show.
“It has been over a year since I ran on the road in 5000m, so I want to use this event to see where I am at this moment,” Cheptegei said before taking his flight.
Benjamin Njia, his Police Athletics Club coach is adamant having stayed out of the competitive action for long, Cheptegei has rested enough to set another world record on Saturday.
“He is in good shape, and we are praying for the world record if all goes well,” Njia told New Vision Sports.
Njia, also Uganda Athletics Federation vice president Technical continued: “This (long absence) might have given him time to regain his power.”
Now, having touched base in France, Cheptegei, also Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), will conduct light training on Thursday evening and Friday then race on Saturday.
The last time the Kapchorwa born international was in action in France, he set a new world road 5 km record of 12:51, breaking through the Monaco event’s 13 minute barrier, taking 9 seconds. He saw off Kenya’s Sammy Kipketer bragging rights earned way back in 2000.
In August 2020, at the Monaco Diamond League Meet, he broke his own 12:51 record by setting a new one of 12:35, breaking Bekele’s 16-year-old world record of 12:37.
It might be more of the same this weekend as he returns owing to the discipline and commitment Cheptegei accorded his training cycle.
In all his training sessions in Kapchorwa, Kween, and Bulambuli, he has been showing some stellar skills, speed, power, strength, and endurance, and on Saturday morning, he will hope to display all of them.
Source: New Vision