Uganda's stand-out long-distance running duo of Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo will have another shot at gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics via Friday's men's 5000m final. Cheptegei and Kiplimo painfully settled for silver and bronze after they were beaten to 10000m gold by Ethiopian Selemon Barega last Friday but the pair yesterday eased through the 5000m Heat 2 to keep gold in sight.Kiplimo, who stopped in the 5000m Heats on his Olympics debut five years ago, ran it easily, moving from eighth with 600m to go to finish fourth in a time of 13 minutes and 30.40 seconds at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
With about three laps left when Cheptegei was leading, the 20-year-old Kiplimo however needed to step away from Bahraini Dawit Fikadu who had fallen to the ground otherwise, he would have tripped.
Meanwhile, Cheptegei, who raised the tempo when he led with 1200m to go, let eventual winner American Paul Chelimo to lead with 300m left to victory.
But, the world record holder Cheptegei still did the bare minimum in the final stages to finish fifth in 13:30.61.
"Yes he did a good job," Cheptegei's coach Addy Ruiter said. "Going to the final without using a lot of energy," he added. The top five per Heat qualified automatically to Friday's final. Even prior, Kiplimo's younger brother Oscar Chelimo did the same when he came fourth in Heat 1 with a time of 13:39.07. Chelimo (pic), a junior world x-try bronze medallist, like his brother, came from eighth at the bell to overtake three men and celebrate his qualification.
The top five per Heat qualified automatically to Friday's final. Even prior, Kiplimo's younger brother Oscar Chelimo did the same when he came fourth.
ATHLETICS - DAY FIVE RESULTS
MEN'S 5000M HEAT 1
1. Nicholas Kipkorir (KEN) 13:38.87
2. Mohammed Ahmed (CAN) 13:38.96
3. William Kincaid (USA) 13:39.04
4. Oscar Chelimo (UGA) 13:39.07
MEN'S 5000M HEAT 2
1. Mohammed Katir (ESP) 13:30.10
2. Paul Chelimo (USA) 13:30.15
3. Justin Knight (CAN) 13:30.22
4. Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) 13:30.40
5. Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 13:30.61