Uganda middle distance star Joshua Cheptegei, fresh from winning the 5,000m gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, has changed his mind and will compete in the 10,000m final as well.
He won his first-ever Commonwealth Games gold on Sunday in a time of 13:50.83, ahead of Canada's Mohammed Ahmed at the Carrara Stadium Track. The other two Ugandans in the race, Thomas Ayeko and Phillip Kipyeko, finished fourth and sixth respectively.
Cheptegei had, according to the country's athletics federation, initially ruled himself out of the longer distance as he didn't want to overload himself, but will now contest the 10km final on 13 April.
"We have managed to convince Cheptegei, and he has now accepted to run in the final on the last day [sic] of the Games," Dominic Otuchet, chairman of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) revealed to KweséESPN.
"This is very good for Uganda as a country and for the athlete himself because he is now better motivated to even perform well after winning gold on Sunday."
Otuchet explained that Cheptegei initially did not want to overextend himself with two races, even though he had qualified for both, adding: "But we left him entered for the two events and only kept hoping that he changes his mind.
"We are glad he has now allowed to stay back and compete in the 10,000m final."
Cheptegei, also the world 10,000m silver medalist, has been Uganda's top medal hopeful at the Games in the absence of 2012 London Olympic marathon gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich, as well as Moses Kipsiro, who won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
Jacob Kiplimo, who last year won Uganda's the first ever gold medal at the IAAF World Cross Country, will be another up-and-coming star to look out for in the 10,000m final. The 18-year-old also won the IAAF Cinque Mulini Cross Country in Italy earlier this year.