Jacob Kiplimo continued his steady rise to the long-distance top as he won the Senior men’s race at the 2023 World Cross Country Championship in Bathurst, Australia.
The 22-year-old produced arguably his finest display at the global scene to win the race in a time of 29 minutes and 17 seconds. He beat several top long-distance runners including fellow country man Joshua Cheptegei, Kenya’s duo of Daniel Ebenyo and Geoffrey Kamworor plus Ethiopian legend Salemon Berega.
Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi finished second in a time of 29:26 while Cheptegei clinched the final podium spot in 29:37.
It was never in doubt if Kiplimo would win his second gold in the senior men’s event after winning his first in Aarhus, Denmark as part of team Uganda that won gold in the senior team event, as he exhibited great determination and stamina from the very start.
Kiplimo has now won four medals at the cross-country championships since his debut in 2015. He won the Junior race in 2019 and also added silver in the senior race in 2019.
For Cheptegei, it was a disappointing outing as he failed to join the likes of Kenenisa Bekele and two others, to win the event in successive editions.
He came into the race on the back of victory in the San Silvestre Vallecana 10km event in Madrid at the end of the year, his first race since suffering injury at the World Championships in Eugene, USA.
On the day, Uganda secured four medals, the others being bronze in both the Junior Men and senior Women, to finish third overall.
Dan Kibet was the other outstanding performer as he finished fourth in the Junior men’s race, behind the Kenyan duo of Ishmael Kikurui and Reynold Cheriyot and Ethiopia’s Boki Diriba.
The next World Cross Country championships will be held in Medulin and Pulo, Croatia in February 2024.
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