Oregon 2022: Mburu praised by world champion Cheptegei after claiming 10,000m silver
Kenya’s wait for the first gold medal at the World Athletics championships continues but there might be hope for the future as 22-year-old Stanley Mburu bagged silver in the men’s 10,000 metres on Monday morning.
Mburu in fact was not tipped for a medal before the race and with the likes of Selemon Barega and world record holder Joshua Cheptegei in the equation, it was always going to be tough.
Cheptegei stormed to victory in a time of 27:27:43 with Mburu coming in second in 27:27:90. Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo took bronze in the tight finish.
After the race, Cheptegei could not hide his emotions and he actually tipped Mburu to be the next big thing in the distance.
“He is an upcoming athlete. He ran really well today. He has to continue learning and I’m sure in the next few years, he will be on top of the game. He has a great future if he continues to do the right thing,” Cheptegei said after the race.
Only three athletes had won back-to-back titles in the 10,000 metres before the race (Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah) but Cheptegei made sure that he brought back the title to Uganda in style.
Cheptegei was on a revenge mission having been beaten to pace by Barega in the Tokyo Olympics last year and this time around, he made sure that he took control of matters straight from the start.
On the home stretch, Barega faded to fifth with Mburu who had fallen in the first lap, bruising his right knee claiming silver.
Cheptegei’s deserved victory at the Hayward Field rolled back memories of eight years ago when he won the World U20 title at the venue.
“It was very emotional for me to come back to the USA, to the place where I started my international career in 2014,” said Cheptegei.
“It was really hot today and the conditions were really challenging, but nevertheless I prepared myself for something challenging. I knew I could control the race and speed it up.
“This means a lot to me. I want to continue my dominance in long-distance running.”