A powerful contingent of NN Running Team athletes will be seeking precious metal at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon (July 15-24). We assess their chances as some of the team’s superstar athletes descend on the fabled Hayward Field looking for glory.
Saturday July 16
Women’s 10,000m Final
The exalted Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey hopes to add the world title to the world record she set over the distance in Hengelo last year. Three years ago at the last edition of the World Championships in Doha, the 24-year-old won silver and at the Tokyo Olympics last year she claimed 10,000m bronze.
Another NNRT athlete in action is Uganda’s Mercyline Chelangat, who set a personal best for the 25-lap distance of 31:15.05 in Hengelo last June.
Sunday July 17
A talented group of half-a-dozen NNRT athletes take to the start line in pursuit of championship glory in a race dripping with quality.
Leading the challenge is in-form Dutchman Abdi Nageeye, who last year won an Olympic marathon silver medal and in April posted a national record of 2:04:56 winning the Rotterdam Marathon.
Two-time New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor makes his eagerly-awaited major championship marathon debut hoping to add another title to his glittering career which has already seen him rack up three world half marathon and two world cross country titles.
Eritrea’s Hiskel Tewelde, who set a national record of 2:04:35 in Amsterdam last year, is another threat while former Ugandan record-holder Filex Chemonges (2:05:12) is also entered. Ibrahim Hassan of Djibouti (2:07:38) completes the NNRT challenge.
Men’s 10,000m Final
Joshua Cheptegei, the finest 10,000m runner of his generation, aims to join Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah as a successful defenders of this title. Since winning the world 10,000m crown in Doha last year, the Ugandan has gone on to claim the world record over the 25-lap distance and snared an Olympic silver medal. He also has happy memories of Eugene having clinched the World U20 10,000m title here back in 2014.
His countryman Stephen Kissa – who set a national marathon record of 2:04:48 in Hamburg – also competes.
A pair of NNRT athletes represent Kenya in this event; Rodgers Kwemoi, who finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships and he will be determined to at least go one better in Eugene, and Daniel Mateiko (27:03.94).
NNRT athlete Lonah Salpeter who has a Marathon PB of 2:17:45 will run the Women's Marathon in Eugene. She will be joined by Ashete Bekere, who ran her Marathon PB earlier this year in Tokyo (2:17:58).
Women’s 5000m heats (Final July 23)
Just four days after the 10,000m final Letesenbet Gidey returns to the track to try her hand over the 12-and-a-half lap distance. The Ethiopian distance running maestro took this event to a new realm in 2020 when setting a new world record mark of 14:06.62 in Valencia. Earlier this year at Hayward Field in the Prefontaine Classic she placed second in the 5000m behind countrywoman Ejgayehu Taye.
Men’s 5000m heats (Final July 24)
Joshua Cheptegei begins the second half of his long distance running quest in Eugene over the distance where he was crowned Olympic champion in Tokyo last year. In 2020 the Ugandan superstar set a world record time for the 5000m and in his sole track appearance this season he won over the 12-and-a-half lap distance on this very track at the Prefontaine Classic.