Jacob Kiplimo, the World Athletics Cross Country champion | Credit: World Athletics

The World Athletics Cross Country senior men’s title remained with Uganda, but this time it was Jacob Kiplimo who claimed gold.

The 22-year-old who finished second in the senior men’s race in Aarhus, Denmark four years ago topped the competitive field in Bathurst, Australia at the 2023 championships.

Kiplimo, who has been on the rise since claiming his first senior gold in the World Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, shone throughout the race conquering an incredibly strong field and defying the stormy conditions that broke out just a few minutes into the race.

He crossed the finish line in 29:17, a remarkably quick time for 10km given the difficulty of the course.

“The course was really good,” Kiplimo said in the aftermath as quoted. by World Athletics. “Even with lots of wind, it was really intense. I think for me it was really good because there are lots of hills where we train in Uganda. It was not easy but I did my best,” he added.

World Cross debutant Berihu Aregawi of Ethiopia took silver in 29:26 while defending champion Joshua Cheptegei just about held on for bronze ahead of a fast-finishing Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, with both men timed at 29:37.

How the race unfolded

Ugandan teammates Isaac Kibet, Samuel Kibet and Martin Kiprotich ran at the front of the pack in the first lap as Cheptegei and Kiplimo held back.

The size of the leading pack naturally reduced in the second lap but with the top athletes in the mix. Kiprotich still led with Kamworor closely behind while Cheptegei and Kiplimo ran towards the back of the pack. Aregawi was in the mix too as Burundi’s Rodrigue Kwizera (currently the World Athletics Cross Country Tour leader) was right at the back of the group.

Near the halfway mark of the race, Cheptegei moved to the front of the pack, running level with Kamworor. Kiplimo and Aregawi were just behind the duo and Kenya’s Daniel Simiu Ebenyo was also close.

Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo during the race | Credit: World Athletics

The two former winners, Kamworor and Cheptegei, along with Kiplimo and Aregawi eventually formed a breakaway quartet from which the medal winners would emerge.

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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