4. Joshua Cheptegei

At No.4 on our list of Top 10 African Male Athletes in 2022 is Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei who has remained a force to be reckoned with after winning 10,000m GOLD at the 2019 World Championships in Doha and setting the 5000m/10,000m World Records in 2020. He also holds the world best in the 15km road race and ranked 2nd in the 10km all-time list.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The 26-year-old was quite selective with his races this year, opening his season in March with the 10km in Cannes, France, where he was dominant with a World Lead (WL) of 26:49, finishing more than a minute ahead of his rivals. What made his feat particularly impressive was that before this year, just six men had ever broken 27 minutes for 10km, but in 2022 alone, 10 men achieved that feat, with the Ugandan leading the pack.

Cheptegei’s next race was in May where he stormed to victory in the Prefontaine Classic in the 5000m with a Season’s Best (SB) of 12.57.99. He returned to Oregon nearly two months later for the World Championships where he claimed a second consecutive title in the 10,000m in an SB of 27:27.43, his third medal at the worlds having won Silver in London in 2017. This would be his only 10,000m race of the 2022 season.

Photo Credit: @IAAFDoha

As the current Olympic Champion over 5000m, Cheptegei shifted his sights to the event a few days after his 10,000m triumph and even though he dominated his heat, he was not as lucky in the final as he finished in a distant 9th place. His final race of the season was in Madrid where he ended the year on a winning note with a time of 27.09 over 10km.

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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