Uganda's Jacon Kiplimo crosses the finish line to win Gold at the World Athletics Half Marathon Gdynia 2020

Ugandan runner Jacob Kiplimo has claimed gold at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday.

Kiplimo posted 58:49 to break the championship record while compatriot and 10,000m world record holder Joshua Cheptegei finished fourth with a personal best of 59:21.

Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie made 58:54 to walk away with the silver medal while Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegnwhile crossed after 59:08 to win bronze.

In the team standings, Kenya regained their title in 2:58:10 from Ethiopia (2:58:25) and Uganda (2:58:39) in third place. All three teams finished inside the previous championship record.

Joshua Cheptegei (middle) at the World Half Marathon

The race that saw 28 men finishing inside 61 minutes began with quite a slow pace for the first half but Kiplimo who visibly looked very comfortable cranked it up in the final quarter, Kandie failing to handle.

Turkey’s Aras Kaya took charge of the pack earlier on but his lead was short-lived. He handed over to Cheptegei who also led at the 23rd minute mark before Kandie dominated for a spell.

Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu in action at the World Athetics Championships in Gdynia, Poland

Cheptegei at one moment dropped to 11th position, running side by side with Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase but picked up pace to move third just ahead of Walelegn.

With about 4km to go, Kiplimo stepped up with his arguably metronomic running. The 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Junior champion kept looking behind to see if Kandie was closing in.

Cheptegei dropped to fourth with 20k split just a stone’s throw away but his compatriot Kiplimo kept his place till the blue tape at the finish point on the beach.

Ugandans Victor Kiplangat, Stephen Kissa (1:00:34) and Moses Kibet finished 16th, 19th and 76th respectively. Kiplangat set a season best of 1:00:29 just like Kibet who ran 1:03:54.

Kiplimo earned $30,000 in prize money while team Uganda (men) sealed their participation with $9,000 for finishing third.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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