Cheptegei, Kiplimo Confirm Their Debut At Lausanne Diamond League

Ugandan long-distance runners Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo have confirmed their participation in the upcoming fifth Diamond League event, scheduled to take place in Lausanne, Switzerland, on June 30th, 2023.

The duo has expressed their readiness to compete in the 5000-meter Diamond League race, considering it as their final track debut before shifting their focus to the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, scheduled for August 19th to 27th, 2023.

Both Cheptegei and Kiplimo are currently training in Kapchorwa under the guidance of their personal management coaches and are determined to deliver strong performances in the league.

Cheptegei, who recently finished fourth in the Rome Diamond League, mentioned in an interview with Uganda Radio Network that he opted to race in Lausanne to allow himself one month of preparation for the World Championships, instead of his initial plan to participate in the Monaco Diamond League on July 21st, which is just a week before the championships.

“I feel better to race with other strong counterparts, for as usual that’s where each of us understands and designed his tactic on how to handle World Championships and Olympics,” Cheptegei told URN.

Kiplimo, who secured second place in the Oslo Diamond League, expressed the importance of racing alongside Cheptegei, as they will represent Uganda in the same distance as a team. “It was my decision to ask managers that, I needed one debut where my teammate is, it shows a sign of together in preparing for greater performances ahead,” the soft-spoken Kiplimo stated.

Addy Ruiter, Cheptegei’s personal coach, explained that the training sessions have been designed to ensure the athletes perform well at the Budapest event.  “Since the start of the 2023 track season, all are aimed at the end of the season achievement,” Addy noted.

Iacopo Brassi, Kiplimo’s coach, expressed enthusiasm about improving the performance of the reigning World Half Marathon record holder during the highly competitive event in August. Brassi stated that Kiplimo is already showing potential and endurance for the upcoming championships.

Njia Benjamin, the National Coach and Vice President of Technical Affairs at the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) acknowledged the positive impact of having both athletes compete together in the Lausanne Diamond League.

He expressed confidence that these two athletes, who are the country’s hopes in long-distance running, have begun fostering a team spirit leading up to the upcoming World Championships.  Some fans, who have eagerly awaited the opportunity to see Cheptegei and Kiplimo compete together in such events, have expressed their joy.

They believe that the duo brings excitement to the diamond leagues and have high expectations for their performances, especially against athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia. Felix Simoni, an athletics fan, expressed his trust in the two Ugandan athletes, highlighting their ability to showcase their potential and provide tough competition for anticipated athletes from other countries.

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