Former world cross country silver medallist Leonard Patrick Komon has saluted the new world 15 km record holder Joshua Cheptegei for his excellent run last month.
A man who ran away from the killer militia, Sabaot land Defence Forces (SLDF) that was led by his elder brother Wycliffe Komon alias Matwakei, Komon who held the record for the last eight since breaking the world record during Zevenheuvelenloop road race in 2010 timing 41:13, the runner was planning to bet that the winner will be given a brand new car if it had to last for ten years.
But last month, Cheptegei, the two time Commonwealth Games champion in 5,000m and 10,000m lowered his time to 41:05 during Nijmegen Road race.
“I must appreciate what he has done what many athletes have failed to achieve for a very long time. I was planning to place a bet after ten years but it has gone before time came to pass,” said the 2006 world cross country junior silver medallist.
Apart from losing the 15km record, Komon still enjoys the 10km world record he set also in 2010 at the Singelloop 10km road race when he timed 26:44 breaking Micah Kogo’s record.
“Joshua is my friend and we meet sometimes and it is good that my friend lowered my time after such long time,” added Komon the Cheptais High school alumnus.
The Ugandan Cheptegei has out staged Kenyan athletes at global stages. It was clear during the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia when he won double gold medals in 10,000m and 5,000m breaking the jinx of a silver medal man at world events.
Cheptegei won silver at the 2017 world championships in London, gold at the world junior championships in 10,000m.
Apart from being a runner, Komon is a peace crusader, who joined other athletes from Mount Elgon, the militia prone region associated with killing, raping and destroying property started Tulwoopkony to foster peace in the volatile area.
“Our intentions are to ensure that youths don’t engage in bad habits instead preach peace across the region and we make mount Elgon a peaceful place for everybody,” added Komon