Ugandan 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegai on Thursday confirmed his absence at the 2022 Commonwealth games in Birmingham where he was anticipated to defend a 5000m record he set in Monaco 2020.
The runner was expected to join the rest of his teammates in Birmingham after completing the World Athletics Championship in Oregon USA where he retained his 10,000m crown in record time.
“Since the 10,000m gold achievement at the worlds, my body has demanded and requires some rest and recovery if I am to embark on future prospects and plans…” Cheptegai said in a letter to the Uganda Athletics Federation.
He aims to use the time he is away to rest and prepare for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships 2023, February in Australia, as well as the 2023 world Athletics Championship in Budapest, Hungary later next year in August.
Joshua is just one of the many Ugandan athletes who were listed for the tournament but have not shown up.
The list includes former bombers captain Shadir Musa Bwogi, runner Tarsis Gracious Orogot and over 130 others.
Only 72 athletes are present in Birmingham out of the 205 named by the tournament organizers.
Currently in Birmingham, Uganda are 12th on the medal chart, with two gold medals.
Uganda’s first medal at the Championship came through Victor Kiplangat who won the 42km race in a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 55 seconds.
The second medal from Jacob Kiplimo in the men’s 10000m final at 27 minutes and 09.19 seconds to make it 5 times in a row that Uganda has won the 10,000m race.
Australia leads the table with 92 medals of which 36 are gold, 26 are silver and 30 bronze.