Three-time world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei has spoken out about the injury that ended his quest for double gold at Budapest's 2023 World Athletics Championships.
Cheptegei, fresh from winning defending his 10,000m title for the third consecutive time, suffered a foot injury before the 5000m heats with compatriot Oscar Chelimo.
"I would have loved to compete in the 5000m as well, but unfortunately, I had to decide not to start," Run 506 Latinoamérica reported.
"I have struggled with a small foot injury over the last few days and don't want to take any risks. I wish all 5000m competitors the best of luck, and I will see you all soon."
Uganda Athletics Federation coach Benjamin Njia revealed that the injury affected Cheptegei's foot significantly.
"The injury significantly affects his foot, making it impossible for him to continue racing in the remainder of the 2023 championship," Njia confirmed to URN.
Uganda's sole representative in 5,000m, Oscar Chelimo, will be in action this Sunday for the men's 5000m final.
The 2022 World bronze medallist posted a time of 13 minutes and 33.40 seconds to finish fifth.
16:22 - 23.08.2023
Three-time World champion in the 10000m, Joshua Cheptegei, has reportedly encountered an injury setback in Budapest, casting a shadow over his participation in the 2023 World Athletics 5000m heats, scheduled for August 24.
Spain's Mo Katir (13:35.90) and Guatemala's Luis Grijalva (13:32.72) won the first and second heats, respectively.
Ethiopia's Hagos Gebrhiwet (13:36.15), Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen (13:36.21), Canada's Moh Ahmed, Ethiopia's Berihu Aregawi, Kenya's Jacob Krop, and Norway's Narve Gilje Nordas (Nordas was the silver medalist in the 1500m) are among the top contenders.
The finals are due Sunday, August 27.