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Thursday,October 17,2019 08:18 AM

Jacob Kiplimo is one to watch

By James Bakama

Added 31st March 2019 05:03 PM

Kiplimo who led for most of the men’s 10km event was only beaten by Cheptegei in the final stages of the race.

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Kiplimo (center) won gold for Uganda at the World Cross Country in Kampala in 2017 inthe juniors category. File Photo

Kiplimo who led for most of the men’s 10km event was only beaten by Cheptegei in the final stages of the race.

Joshua Cheptegei is right now the man n the headlines.
 
But in his teammate, Jacob Kiplimo who won silver in Denmark could be an even bigger emerging story.
 
Kiplimo who led for most of the men’s 10km event was only beaten by Cheptegei in the final stages of the race.
 
Had Kiplimo held on at the front, he would have emerged as the youngest person ever to win the senior men’s race.
 
At 18 years and four months on competition day, Kiplimo was still eligible to run as a junior.
 
But last November he decided to upgrade to senior level, and indeed that seems to have been a wise decision. Going into Saturday’s race he had a superb record.
 
It was a form line which had seen him go undefeated in nine races since July last year, including seven major cross-country victories as a senior.
 
And two of these victories had Cheptegei amongst the casualties.
 
“My target is a gold,” Kiplimo confidently stated in an interview from the team’s high altitude training camp two weeks to the world meet.
 
He might not have fulfilled his target on Saturday but he still made a huge statement with a silver.
 
At 18 years he is one of the most successful runners with a world junior gold and senior silver.
 
But even more important is the fact that barring misfortunes like injury, he stands to achieve even much more in the future.
 
Francis Demayi, the team manager of Uganda’s team in Denmark, is one of those with big hopes in Kiplimo.
 
“He is a very determined and ambitious athlete. Then he is also very composed. He is not easily excited.
 
But perhaps even more important, success has not got to his head.”
 
Coach Paul Okello notes that there has always been something special about Kiplimo.
 
“Right from the day we discovered him in 2014, you could tell there was something unique about him. He was only 14 when he won the National Mountain Running Championship. You could see the bravery, talent, and discipline. He was visibly destined for big things.”

 

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