Joshua Cheptegei is likely not to take part in the men’s 5000m final at the Africa Senior Athletics Championships on Thursday evening due to the unbearable high temperatures.

“It is very hot here,” World junior 10000m champion Cheptegei told Kawowo Sports on phone from Marrakech in the early hours of Wednesday.

Owing to the arid climate, temperatures in Marrakech are currently at an average of 29 degrees Celsius and the forecast predicts them to be at 38°C on Thursday.

“I don’t know if I will run on Thursday (today). I will only be on track if I adjust and recover on time,” the 17-year-old said.

This paper has also learnt that sprinter Dennis Opio missed the 400m semifinal heat 2 at the Stade de Marrakech on Tuesday largely because of the unbearable temperatures.

“Opio could not manage to run in such hot conditions and so he opted out,” Opio’s coach Raphael Kasaija told us. “Opio and Cheptegei were even planning to change their flights and return home before the Championships end.”

Not only Ugandan athletes have complained of the weather whose humidity is estimated at 54 percent. “It isn’t easy but always worth it. It’s extremely hot here but all is well.” Kenya’s Caleb Ndiku posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Should Cheptegei step onto the track for the 12-and-a-half-lap race, he will face strong field consisting of Commonwealth gold medalist Ndiku and country-mate Isaiah Kiplagat, Ethiopian pair of Yenew Alamirew and 2013 World silver medalist Hagos Gebrhiwet.

Courtesy of


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