Selemon Barega wins Mens 10,000m on the First Day of Athletics at Tokyo Olympics; Historic Medals for Uganda’s Cheptegei and Kiplimo

The opening day of Athletics at Tokyo Olympics saw the finals of men's 10000m take place. Selemon Barega went on to clinch a brilliant gold while Cheptegai and Kiplimo took home silver and bronze in a first for Uganda.

Athletics at Tokyo Olympics; men's 10000m finals
Athletics at Tokyo Olympics; men's 10000m finals

Day 1 of Athletics at Tokyo Olympics started of with the men’s 10,000m finals. The field was set strong, with World Record holder Joshua Cheptegei also in the mix, who would eventually end up taking the silver medal. It was Selemon Barega who won the race, while Jacob Kiplimo took home the bronze in a first for Uganda.

Uganda’s Stephen Kissa took an early lead in the race, finish the first 1000m in just 2:41s. Kenya’s His teammate Jacob Kiplimo was in second place, while Kenya’s Rhonex Kipruto was in third. Cheptegai was taking it slow, and was among the last in first 1000m.

Kissa continued to power on, and maintained his first place lead with a fast pace, finishing the first 5000m with a time of 14:08.6s, while Kenya’s Weldon Kanglat was in second place with a time of 14:09.4s. Kipruto maintained his third place position.

But luck was not in Kissa’s favour today, as he was reeled in by the pack, and could not manage to stretch the race. He dropped out at the 7000m mark, and Rhonex was leading at the 8000m mark, but he soon fell out.

First ever Medal for Uganda in Men’s 10000m in Athletics at Tokyo Olympics

Athletics at Tokyo Olympics; men's 10000m finals
Athletics at Tokyo Olympics; men’s 10000m finals- Photo Credits: Twitter/World Athletics

The last 1000m saw the race take a drastic turn as Chiptegei and Barega took to the top of the pack. Barega managed to maintain Ethiopia’s 10000m tradition by running a tactical race, and won the race with a time of 27:43.22s. World record holder Cheptegai could not manage to overtake Barega, as he finished second just behind the winner with a time of 27:43.63s. It was the other Ugandan athlete, Jacob Kiplimo who stormed on to take the bronze medal, with a time of 27:43.88s.

Beraga finished the last 1000m in just 2:25s, by far the fastest time of the race. Berihu Aregawi of Ethiopia finished in fourth place, while Grant Fisher of USA finished in fifth. History was created for Uganda as they won 2 medals in the same event for the first time here on the opening day of Athletics at Tokyo Olympics.

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