Ugandan long distance runner Jacob Kiplimo has been listed among the 100 athletes to watch in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics.

According to curators – World Athletics, Kiplimo has a “fascinating” story just like the other 99 athletes that will be “worth following as the Games draw ever closer.”

Kiplimo is revered for most importantly having won the world half marathon title in Gdynia towards the end of last year – beating fellow countryman Joshua Cheptegei.

World Athletics included him because he “struck gold in a national record of 58:49” and the “performances underlined Kiplimo’s versatility, having previously won global medals at cross country and on the track.”

Kiplimo was listed with Ethiopians Roza Dereje, 5K and 10K specialist Selemon Barega, Kenyans Hellen Obiri and Valencia Marathon winner Peres Jepchirchir among others.

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

How Kiplimo’s 2020 season shaped up

In 2019, Kiplimo’s was doing 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.

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.

Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo racing at the World Athletics Half Marathon in Poland

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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