The track and field events kicked off Friday at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. And at the end of the evening, an event not to be missed was the men’s 10,000m final, where we learned a new Olympic King would be crowned. There was even a chance to see Mohamed Ahmed sign the first Canadian medal in history at this distance.
Earlier this year, it was hoped that London and Rio Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah (Somali-born) could defend his title for the last time. But Farah, 38, was unable to meet Olympic standards in the national tests conducted before the games.
To succeed him, all eyes were on Ugandans Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplemo.
Cheptegei, 24, erased the 15-year-old’s world record last year when he climbed 10,000 meters in an astonishing time of 26:11. As for Kiplemo, he is only twenty years old. But he is a rising star. He had the best times of the year (26:33 93/100).
Ok! By a few hundredths of a second, the two favorites finally failed to climb to the top of the podium. And it was Solomon Berega, a 21-year-old Ethiopian, who snatched one of the most prestigious crowns in athletics.
At the end of an infernal race, Barriga took home the first gold medal played on the Olympic Stadium by setting a time of 27:43 and 22/100. So he was able to climb to the top of the podium with a time of over a minute and a half above the Cheptegei world record!
However, runners had the right to all indulges in the world. With the 30-degree temperature and humidity suitable for a sauna, no one expected athletes to perform at peak performance.
Barega succeeds great Ethiopian champions such as Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele, who have won four Olympic titles before those won by Mo Farah in 2012 and 2016.
This medal makes me especially proud because I worked so hard to reach this level. I also feel proud of my people and the National Federation, who have supported me so much. said Barriga, who thus became the youngest medalist in the history of his country.
As athletes, we dream first of participating in the Olympic Games, and then of being champions and breaking records. I hope I can finally improve the world record , he completed.
The Ugandans’ strategy seemed well established to get their first gold medal in their country’s history at this distance.
Their compatriot Stephen Keys played the bunny and pushed the machine to its limit in the first 6000 metres. But when he gave up, he failed to break the group. Cheptegei and Kiplemo were still standing on the backs of all their rivals.
Muhammad Ahmad escaped in vain
At 2,000m running, the two Ugandans were narrowly ahead of Peloton and Canadian Ahmed was hitting their necks. After that, the pace never stopped accelerating. Impatient, Ahmed tried to break away in the last 800 metres. But he planted no one and finished in sixth place.
Looking back, after the race, the Canadian felt that perhaps he should have been more patient. But he did not regret giving it all.
When the last lap started, Barriga came out like a rocket and overtook the Canadian, among others.
If there was a crowd, she would have visited. There is always something surreal about seeing humans cover the last 400m of such a challenging event so quickly.
Cheptegei and Kiplimo may have reacted a second or two late when Barega began his final, powerful breakup. Their desperate sprint in the last 200 metres wasn’t enough. They lost the gold medal by 41/100 and 66/100 of the second, respectively.
These athletes always give the impression that they are superhuman. any offer!
However, the silver and bronze medals from Cheptegei and Kiplimo were very satisfying. This is the first in Uganda’s history at this event.
At a press conference, Chepetegui said he is very happy to be able to win a medal alongside his young compatriot Kiplemo.
With great humanity, he then explained that the pressure of his world record has been so great for him over the past year that he ended up suffering from mental health issues and even considered not showing up in Tokyo.
After Simone Biles a few days ago, Cheptegei was the second global superstar at gaming to reveal an inner ordeal.
I broke three world records last year and it was very hard trying to maintain optimal condition after that when I knew the games were coming and everyone wanted to beat me. I started worrying about things I couldn’t control and at some point, I just didn’t understand myself anymore. Then I got injured and thought maybe it would be better to take a break and skip the games and start over later.
But my entourage reminded me of how supportive my compatriots are. And I said to myself, I’m going to play the games for them. That’s the only reason I’m in Tokyo proud of winning those first Olympic medals with my friend Kiplemo , is done.
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