Cheptegei’s inclusion in the list came on the back of his heroic performances in the long distance track events. In the Monaco Diamond League in August, the Ugandan broke Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele’s record at the 5,000 meters to register a new time of 12:35:36. An impressive 1.99 seconds off Bekele’s time of 12:37:35 in 2004.
This was followed by other world record performances registering a remarkable time of 26:11:00 in 10,000 meters and 12:51 world record in five kilometres road run. This earned him fourth place at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships on his debut.
Others include a world record time of 41:05 in 15km in 2018, 26:38 in 10km in 2019, 8:07:54 in a two mile run, Stanford 2019 and 7:33:26 in 3,000m in 2019.
Cheptegei faces fierce competition in the race to win the award from other athletes like Ryan Crouser, Mondo Duplantis, Johannes Vetter and Karsten Warholm who have also made record breaking performances.
The winner would be announced at the World Athletics Awards 2020 as a virtual event on December 5.