Joshua Cheptegei is a Ugandan long-distance runner who has achieved several records in the short time of his career.
He is the 10,000 m world champion for 2019 and 2022. Cheptegei is the tenth man in history to hold both world records at the same time in 2020 for the 5,000 m and 10,000 m.
Keep on reading to know more about the professional and personal life of Uganda’s long-distance runner, Joshua Cheptegei.
Joshua Cheptegei – Early Life
Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei was born on September 12, 1996, in the Ugandan town of Kapsewui in the Kapchorwa District. Cheptegiei started the long jump and triple jump in elementary school before switching to running after realizing he had a talent for long distances.
Cheptegei was born as the only son of Stephenson Kwalya Munerya and Irene Chemusto. Cheptegei and his family follows Christianity.
Joshua Cheptegei – Education
Joshua Cheptegei had a passion for sports and games from a very young age. He was a football player in school and he later switched to the long jump and triple jump. Eventually, he showed more interest and talent in the running.
Apart from being a sportsperson, Cheptegei loved literature and teaching. So, he pursued a Bachelor of Education (BEd) from Bugema University. Cheptegei won the gold medal at the World Cross Country Championships while competing for his university before turning into a professional runner.
Joshua Cheptegei – Professional Career
Cheptegei began his professional career as a runner in 2015. Not everything was right when Cheptegei began his career.
He enrolled in Bugema University aiming to become a successful athlete. He was from a poor family and so even buying a pair of running shoes was very tough for him.
During the 2014 World Junior Championships trials in Kampala, Cheptegei trained in rough conditions and sustained ankle bruises from running. He wasn’t selected by the Ugandan team then.
He was then only added to Team Uganda out of goodwill, even though he won sixth place overall among the East African competitors.
A scout from the professional team based in the Netherlands was impressed by him and soon signed him up. After that, he began to participate in various national and international competitions.
He performed at the World Championships 2015 in Beijing finishing in ninth place. Later he competed in the 5000 and 8000 meters race at the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio, finishing in eighth and sixth place.
In 2018, he competed in the Commonwealth Games that took place in Queensland, Austria. At this competition, Cheptegei won the gold medals for both 5000-meter and 10000-meter running.
Cheptegei has won the 15km Zevenheuvelenloop road race in Nijmegen, Netherlands, four times. He established the 15 km road racing world record in 2018. Jacob Kiplimo, a fellow countryman of Cheptegei broke the record in February at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon.
At the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships held in Denmark, Cheptegei won the senior men’s race. He won the race representing Uganda.
Joshua Cheptegei – World Records
In Valencia, Spain, Cheptegei broke the previous 10 km road racing record in December 2019. He beat Leonard Komon’s previous world record set in 2010 with a split second.
He broke the previous world record for the 5 km road race in February 2020 in Monaco which was later broken by Berihu Aregawi in 2021.
A day before the Herculius meet of the Diamond League in Monaco on August 2020, Cheptegei declared his intention to return to the track and run his first competitive run of the year in a 5000m world record time, which would be more than 20 seconds quicker than his previous record on the track.
He won the race by beating the record set by Kenenisa Bekele. Last year, Cheptegei broke the record set in the 10 km race within 26 minutes and 49 seconds.
Joshua Cheptegei – Awards And Achievements
Cheptegei began his professional career in 2015. He has accomplished various honors so far. So let’s have a look at the achievements of Cheptegei since he began as a runner.
- Gold Medal in 10,000m at the World Junior Championships 2014.
- Gold Medal in 10,000m at the African Junior Championships 2015.
- Silver Medal in 10,000m at the World Championships 2017.
- Gold Medal in both 5000m and 10,000m in the Commonwealth Games 2018.
- Gold Medal in 10km at the World Cross Country Championships 2019.
- Gold Medal in 10,000m at the World Championship 2019.
- Gold Medal in 5000m at the Olympic Games 2021.
- Silver Medal in 10,000m at the Olympic Games 2021.
- Gold Medal in 10,000m at the World Championships 2022.
Joshua Cheptegei – Personal Life
The 26-year-old long-distance runner from Uganda married his girlfriend, Carol Yeko in October 2021. They held a traditional wedding in Cheminy, Uganda. Cheptegei and Carol have two children together. Cheptegei and his family reside in a five-bedroom mansion in the Central Division of Kapchorwa, Uganda.
Joshua Cheptegei – As A Philanthropist
Besides his running career, Joshua Cheptegei is a philanthropist who raises funds for social work. He donates a part of his wealth to various social needs. In 2014, Joshua Cheptegei and his wife Carol Yeko together founded a non-profit organization named Cheptegei Development Foundation.
The organization aims to help the poor and unprivileged children in the country. They provide opportunities for the young people out there and also provide education for those who can’t afford it.
Apart from all these, the organization arranges events annually and gives scholarships to three children who win the competitions of the event. It also distributes sanitary pads for girls to ensure menstrual hygiene.
Joshua Cheptegei – Net Worth
Joshua Cheptegei is the star of Uganda who has won various competitions for the nation. He is successful in what he chose as his career and has been dedicated to his profession. Cheptegei is considered the richest athlete in Uganda. He is supposed to have an estimated net worth of $5 million.
The long-distance runner’s major source is the competitions he participates in. Apart from that, he earns money from various endorsements and deals with several brands.