Jacob Kiplimo etched his name in history books as he followed Joshua Cheptegei’s footsteps on the global stage by winning the 2023 World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia on Saturday.
Kiplimo conquered an incredibly strong field and defied the stormy conditions to reach the tape in 29:17 – a remarkably quick time for 10km given the difficulty of the course.
The 22-year-old and compatriot Joshua Cheptegei, the defending champion started the race on a low note and had their Ugandan teammates Isaac Kibet, Samuel Kibet and Martin Kiprotich run at the front of the pack in the first lap.
The pace increased slightly on the second lap, Kiplimo and Cheptegei racing towards the back of the pack while Ethiopian cross-country champion Berihu Aregawi was just a stride ahead of Kiplimo.
At the halfway mark of the race, Cheptegei took charge and moved to the front of the pack, running level with Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor.
Kiplimo and Aregawi, eventually formed a breakaway quartet as temperatures started to drop. Kiplimo was still full of running and he indeed made a break on the final lap.
Kiplimo maintained that lead as he came out of the vineyard and even extended it to seven seconds by the time he reached the ‘mountain straight’ part of the course.
Charging down the downhill stretch, Kiplimo kept looking behind to check if he had a close challenger but since there was none, he kicked off his celebrations even before reaching the tape.
He crossed the line in 29:17 with Aregawi taking silver in 29:26. Cheptegei claimed bronze ahead of a fast-finishing Kamworor, both men timed at 29:37.
- Jacob KIPLIMO UGA 29:17
- Berihu AREGAWI ETH 29:26 + 9
- Joshua CHEPTEGEI UGA 29:37 + 20
- Geoffrey KAMWOROR KEN 29:37 + 20
- Kibiwott KANDIE KEN 29:57 + 40
- Daniel Simiu EBENYO KEN 30:01 + 44
- Sabastian Kimaru SAWE KEN 30:04 + 47
- Rodrigue KWIZERA BDI 30:06 + 49
- Hailemariyam AMARE ETH 30:10 + 53
- Mogos TUEMAY ETH 30:11 + 54