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Kiplimo Wins Uganda’s Maiden Gold Medal at World Cross Country Championships

Youngster Jacob Kiplimo became the first ever athlete from Uganda to win a gold medal at the IAAF world cross country championships.

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Kiplimo was congratulated by President Museveni and the first Lady Janet Museveni

Kiplimo made history running at home soil amidst wild cheers from the capacity crowd at the Kololo ceremonial grounds on Sunday to clinch the U20 men’s race category.

At just the age of 16, Kiplimo beat off competition from Ethiopian and Kenyan athletes to post a time of 22:40 and win gold in an event attended by the President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Eritrea’s Yemane Haileselassie set the pace leading in the opening lap but a group Ethiopian and Kenyan runners took over the lead with Kiplimo closely behind.

However, Kiplimo surged up in the final stages to go on and grab Uganda’s maiden gold medal at the biennial event.

Ethiopia’s Amdework Walaelesn and Kenya’s Kimunyan finished second and third respectively.

Kiplimo has been raising up the ranks since 2015 when he broke into the limelight at just the age of 14. He went ahead to win the national mountain runners title that year before representing Uganda at the Rio Olympics where he was the youngest track athlete.

He won bronze at last year’s 10,000 m World junior championships in Poland.

Kiplimo joins other Ugandans who have won a medal at the World cross country championships. The others include Moses Kipsiro (seniors), Boniface Kiprop and Thomas Ayeko(juniors) all of them winning silver.

In the other categories, Kenya dominated winning the both the men’s and women’s senior categories with Geoffrey Kamworor and Irene Cheptai bagging gold respectively.

Kamworor successfully defended his 10km senior race clocking 28:24 and became the first athlete to defend the category since 2006.

Irene Cheptai won the women’s senior race posting a time of 31:57 in a category dominated by Kenyans including Alice Nawowuna and Lilian Rengerak getting podium slots.

Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey won the women’s junior race while Asbel Kiplimo led the way as Kenya won the inaugural mixed relay competition teaming up with Winfried Nzisa Mbithe and Beatrice Chepkoech to clock 22:22.

The event was attended with a record 550 athletes from over 59 countries.

2017 world cross coutry championship medals and over all winners

1. Kenya – 3 Gold, 4 Silver, 2 Bronze

2. Ethiopia – 3 Gold, 3 silver,

3. Uganda – 1 Gold, 2 Bronze

4. Bahrain – 1 Bronze

5. Eritrea – 1 Bronze

6. Turkey – 1 Bronze


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