Many pundits believe rising Ugandan superstar Joshua Cheptegei could develop into the cornerstone of the NN Running Team.
Born in Kapchorwa – the second eldest of nine siblings – Joshua proved his rare ability when in his first international race he placed second to double World Half-Marathon and Cross Country champion and fellow NN Running Team member Geoffrey Kamworor at the 2014 TCS World 10km in Bangalore.
A little over two months later he further cemented that potential by romping to the World U20 10,000m title in Eugene, Oregon to announce his arrival on the international championship stage.
After a stint training in Kaptagat, Kenya Joshua further revealed his versatility in 2015 by ninth in the 10,000m final at the Beijing World Championships and setting a Ugandan 10km record of 27:50 in Berlin.
In 2016 he placed eighth and sixth in the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m finals, respectively and set national records on the road over both 5km (13:24) and 10km (27:46).
Based back in Uganda, his 2017 form elevated Joshua to a new level.
He set track PB’s over 3000m (7:34.96), 5000m (12:59.83) and 10,000m (26:49.94) – the latter time recorded when winning World Championships silver in London behind British endurance icon Mo Farah.
The Ugandan then ended his year in impressive fashion on the road. He set a national 10km record with 27:29 to win in Durban and further underlined his running gifts by securing a hat-trick of victories in the Zevenheuvelenloop, recording 41:16 – the second fastest 15km time in history.
In Gold Coast, Australia in April he became only the second man in history to complete the 5000m and 10,000m double at the Commonwealth Games.
After struggling for a spell with a knee injury during the heart of 2018 he bounced back in style by setting a national 10km road record of 27:16 in Durban before wiping eight seconds from the 15km world record by running a stunning 41:05 to claim a fourth successive victory in the NN Seven Hills race in Nijmegen.
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Joshua studied literature at university and adds: “Literature has been my passion. I love reading books.”