With two-time winner Mo Farah missing from the field, a new Olympic men’s 10,000m champion will be crowned in Tokyo for the first time since 2012.
Two Ugandan stars – world record-holder Joshua Cheptegei and world-leader Jacob Kiplimo – shape up as the men to beat in an event in which some of the sport’s all-time greats have won consecutive golds dating back to 1996.
The men’s 10,000m is the first track-and-field medal event of the Tokyo Games, with the 25-lap final being contested on the opening day of the athletics programme on 30 July.
The last time the Olympics were held in Tokyo, the men’s 10,000m produced one of the greatest athletics upsets in Games history. Unheralded USA runner Billy Mills, a Native American, sprinted past the leaders in the final straight of an epic race to claim gold at the 1964 Games – the first, and still only, US athlete to win the event.
Fans can look forward to what should be a thrilling competition in Tokyo, even without the reigning champion on the start line.
Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, failed to make the British team for Tokyo. The 38-year-old missed the qualifying time in an invitational 10,000m race at the British Championships, clocking 27:47.04, nearly 20 seconds off the time he needed to secure his spot at a third Games.
Farah was the third man in a row to win back-to-back 10,000m titles, following Ethiopian greats Haile Gebrselassie in 1996-2000 and Kenenisa Bekele in 2004-2008.
The post New Olympic men’s 10,000m champ to emerge with Mo out appeared first on Sporting Life.