Uganda’s biggest medal hopefuls Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo have progressed to the final of the 5000 meters race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will take place on Friday.
Cheptegei finished fifth in his heat, in a time of 13:30:61 while Kiplimo finished in fourth position in the same heat, in a time of 13:30:40.
The other Ugandan participating in the heats, Oscar Chelimo, finished fourth in the other heat, in a time of 13:39:07 to also qualify for the final.
The duo, who have already won silver and bronze respectively in the 10,000 meters, will be aiming to clinch gold for Uganda at the Olympics to add to the only two Olympic gold the country has to its name, won by John Akii Bua in 1972 and Stephen Kiprotich in 2012.
5000 m world record holder Joshua Cheptegei will carry the whole nation’s weight of expectation on his shoulder, after his historic silver in the 10,000 m being treated as an underachievement by many of his countrymen.
He had been expected to easily win gold following his record-breaking performances last year as well as the failure of erstwhile Olympic champion Mo Farah to qualify for the Tokyo games.
He now has the chance to improve on his silver, an achievement he undoubtedly ranks beside no other.