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

Ugandan runner Jacob Kiplimo has reflected on a “good sport year” after finishing second at the Valencia Half Marathon on Sunday.

The star was wrapping up the 2020 season in the Spanish city when he came second after nemesis Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya.

Kiplimo re-set the 21km national record (NR) in 57:37, besting the world record (58:01) just like winner Kandie (57:32), Alexander Mutiso (57:59) and Rhonex Kipruto (57:49).

Talking up the term after the race, Kiplimo took pride in winning three races and finishing runner up in Spain despite the Coronavirus pandemic.

“57:37, thanks Valencia. Second place, national record, second time ever in the fastest half marathon ever,” he posted on his social media.

“I finish my 2020 with 4 races (3 victories and 1 second place) so I can say that it has been a good sport year.

“Now it’s time to rest a bit and spend Christmas time with my family; in 2021 I will focus on the Olympic Games and I have to train hard because my fellows are running fast and it will be a good battle.

“Thanks to everyone who cheered me during the race.”

How Kiplimo’s season shaped up

Last year (2019), Kiplimo’s season was going just fine when he won silver just four seconds behind Joshua Cheptegei at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus.

He however suffered a injury blow after the Great Manchester Run in May when he developed a pain beneath his knee that ruled him out for four months.

He consequently missed the World Championships in Doha as Cheptegei took 10,000m gold.

Later that year Kiplimo returned for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in October, where he helped pace Eliud Kipchoge around the streets of Vienna.

2020 started on a promising note but the challenges brought by the Coronavirus pandemic meant Kiplimo had to wait till September 8 at the 59th Ostrava Golden Spike, Mestský Stadion, Ostrava.

He claimed gold at the 3000m event in 12:48.63 before heading for Rome Diamond League where he beat Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega to win with 7:26.64 on September 17.

Jacob Kiplimo at the Rome Diamond League Credit: Chris Cooper | Diamond League

A month later, Kiplimo (58:49) shocked the world again when he upstaged Kandie and fatigued Cheptegei to claim gold at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, Gdynia.

The Valencia Half Marathon marked the last event of his season this year, and him besting the world record coupled with lowering his personal best in his second race of a kind, the future is bright.

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

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