Ugandan long-distance runner and current 10,000m World Champion Joshua Cheptegei is fearful his Commonwealth 2022 dream may be in tatters over a persistent injury.
The two-time Commonwealth medalist had been listed among the 18 athletes that will represent Uganda at the Birmingham games but could potentially miss out on the games.
Cheptegei was expected to compete only in the 5000m event, but the latest reports indicate that a tendon injury could completely rule him out of the games.
His trouble adds to the list of top athletes who will not be starring in Birmingham with British 400m runner Dinah Asher-Smith the latest to confirm she will not be taking part.
According to Uganda Athletics Federation spokesperson Abdallah Muhamad, the association together with the athlete and his team need to make a decision before time runs out.
“Cheptegei has told us about his injury trouble with a tendon after that 5000m race in Oregon, and that raises doubt about his participation at the 2022 Commonwealth games,” Muhammad said.
“However, nothing has been decided as yet. We are going to engage the doctors with a further assessment before a decision is taken.”
“Obviously, we do not want to force anything on him. Cheptegei is a top athlete who knows exactly what is good for him and what is not. And we have the technocrats to also provide advice.”
“Every Ugandan would want him in Birmingham, because of the opportunity to win a medal there,” he added.
Cheptegei successfully defended his 10,000m World title before settling for ninth place in the 5000mat World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA earlier this month.
While his victory in the 10.000m was spectacular, his performance in the 5000m race was worrying; first finishing third in the semis before a less inspired ninth place finish in the final in which he clearly lacked the kick, especially in the final 800m.
Cheptegei returned to the country on Monday, and while there has been no further communication made, it is reported that he prefers to rest rather than risk aggravating the injury.
A similar decision to participate at the 2018 Commonwealth games in Gold Coast affected his entire season despite winning medals in both the 5000m and 10,000m.
Jacob Kiplimo, Peruth Chemutai and Stella Chesang are some of the athletes that competed in Oregon that will also take part in the Commonwealth Games
In addition, three Uganda athletes – Halimah Nakaayi, Winnie Nanyondo and Tarsis Orogot – may miss the games due to Visa Issues.
Javelin thrower Josephine Lalam, and sprinters Benson Okot and Pius Adome will not be in Birmingham despite being shortlisted on travelling Contingent earlier on.