“Listen to my mind and body, this is the secret of my success.” Joshua Chiptiji, one of the best long-distance runners in history, record-breaking and his dream, now, going through the Tokyo Olympics, is that frankness.
Cheptegei (Kapchorwa, Uganda; 1996) wrote his name in gold letters in the history of international athletics in 2020 by snatching the world record of 5,000 (Monaco 12: 35.36) and 10,000 meters (Valencia. 26: 11.00) from Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele).
From his shelter in Kapchorwa camp (Uganda), about 300 kilometers east of the capital, Kampala, and very close to the Kenyan border, NN Running Team attends an EFE athlete.
Successes don’t distract you from your rigorous training routine. He wakes up at five in the morning and after half an hour he’s already walking. In the afternoon, he trains and goes to sleep around nine in the evening.
Q: How are you going at the beginning of this year, and how does what you are experiencing from the epidemic affect a professional like you?
A: The year started very well. In 2021 we started the 5 km race in Monaco with victory (13:11). Not a world record, but I’m grateful to be able to start the year like this. It is an honor for me that the race organizers continue to invite me in these difficult times.
Q: What feelings did that mark leave you in Monaco?
A: Racing in Monaco is always great for me. Seeing this stadium and the city gives me a special feeling. This last time there was a lot of wind and that is why the world record was not possible, but I am sure I will return to Monaco.
Q: Last year I ran four races and set three records. How do you remember those successes over the course of the months?
A: The year 2020 has been amazing for me, especially due to world records (5,000 meters for track and road and 10,000 meters for track). This success is a big motivation for me to do better this year. 2020 has given me the opportunity to chase records and 2021 has different dreams.
Q: Do you have any other record goals in mind for 2021?
A: The year 2021 is a different year because the Olympic Games are held and have them on the agenda.
Q: Are you passionate about games?
A: My dream is to win the gold medal in Tokyo, but it will be one of the most difficult races in human history. I am honored to prepare well and hope my dream comes true.
Q: Every time, your presence captures all eyes. Is this pressuring you?
A: I get a lot of attention and that also brings me a lot of pressure, but I have learned to use that attention which is pressure to gain more motivation and energy. Because of this pressure, you automatically search for more races, records or dreams for you to pursue. Keeps you hungry for more. The love for Uganda and the people of my country are also proud of me and this feeling also gives me a lot of motivation.
Q: What do you think is the secret of your success?
A: The secret of my success is that I always listen to my mind and body. I never allow negative energy around me or in my team. We always approach situations with a positive mindset.
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