Cheptegei skips Doha for Oregon Diamond League

Mohammed Ahmed of Canada chases Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei of Uganda in the Men's 5000 metres final on day four of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ugandan middle distance star Joshua Cheptegei has opted to skip the Doha IAAF Diamond League event on 4 May and will instead take part in the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League in Oregon, three weeks later.

Fresh from winning two gold medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia, in the 5000m and 10,000m, Cheptegei said he needs rest and cannot make the Doha event.

"I have discussed with my managers and decided I cannot make it to Doha, but instead will prepare to be in good form for the Prefontaine Classic," Cheptegei told KweséESPN on Tuesday, before he headed to Parliament for an event celebrating his success.

"Honestly, there is no way my body will be ready for Doha. I want to resume my training in early May so that I travel to Oregon when fit enough to show my best," he added.

Cheptegei will have the chance to renew his rivalry with Canada's Ahmed Mohamed, who finished second in both the 5km and 10km races at the Commonwealth Games. The two will compete in the 2-mile race, though, as their preferred races will not be scheduled in Oregon.

Kenya's Ronald Kwemoi, who picked a bronze medal in the 10,000m final at the Gold Coast, and Paul Chelimo (USA) will also compete in the same race.

The 21-year-old Cheptegei said he is looking forward to a great season, in which he will also take part in several road races to help him improve on his speed.

"I think I am capable of running better times in the 5,000, and 10,000m races. But I need to continue working on my speed," added Cheptegei.

The 2018 IAAF Diamond League meetings will be staged in Doha, Shanghai, Eugene, Rome, Oslo, Stockholm, Paris, Lausanne, Rabat, Monaco, London, Birmingham, Zurich and Brussels.