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Budapest World Championships 2023: Cheptegei goes down in history

Budapest World Championships 2023: Cheptegei goes down in history

On Sunday, Africa collected four medals, including one gold, at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. World champion in the 10,000, Joshua Cheptegei became the fourth athlete to win three gold medals over this distance. In the 100 m, Botswana's Letsile Tebogo took silver, becoming the first African to win a medal over the distance.

Joshua Cheptegei, triple 10,000 m world champion

To see a defeat for Joshua Cheptegi in the 10,000 m at the World Athletics Championships, you have to go back to 2017 in London. Back then, the Ugandan finished second behind Mohamed Farah. Since then, he has reigned supreme over this distance. He also holds the world record (26mn11s00), set in Valencia in 2020. And on Sunday, the 26-year-old Ugandan consolidated his supremacy on this event. World champion in Doha and Eugene, Cheptegei did it again in Budapest. He crossed the finish line in 27mn51s42 ahead of Kenya's Daniel Simu Ebenyo (27mn52s60) and Ethiopia's Selemon Barega (27mn52s72). With this success, Cheptegi enters a select circle. He becomes the fourth athlete in history to win three world titles over 10,000m. He joins Ethiopians Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele, who both have four titles, and Somalian-born Briton Mo Farah.

I'm very excited and proud to have won my third world title in a row. It was the best possible way to end the season," exclaimed the Olympic champion, who has been struggling with an injury since his victory in Oregon. In contention for the 5000m, Cheptegei could be bidding farewell to the World Track Championships. "These may be my last championships on the track. That's why this gold medal means even more," he reveals.

With his first marathon coming up in December in Valencia, the city where he set his 10,000 m world record three years ago, who knows what the future might hold for the fastest man in 5000 m history.

Tebogo, the pioneer

With the surprise elimination of reigning world champion Fred Kerley and Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs, anything could have happened in this 100m final. And Botswana's Letsile Tebogo seized his chance. He took silver behind American Noah Lyles. A great first for an African sprinter, who had never before managed to win a medal on the home straight. On Sunday, Tebogo did it at just 20 years of age. In the process, he broke the Botswana national 100 m record (9s88). And the nugget has no intention of stopping there. "No time to celebrate now," he said after his race. Tebogo is now in contention for the 200m, and is undoubtedly aiming for a new record and a new medal.

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