KAMPALA. Jacob Kiplimo will rue a missed chance to win 10000m gold but the epic teenager returned to the IAAF World Junior Championships with a silver at the Tampere Stadium track in Finland yesterday.
With the commentators labelling the race preview as ‘the book of Jacob’, Ugandan Kiplimo failed to live up to the favourite’s tag as he lost the 25-lap battle to Kenyan Rhonex Kipruto. Two years ago in Polish city Bydgoszcz, a 15-year-old Kiplimo bagged bronze over the 10000m and following his recent exploits, the writing was on the wall that he had returned for gold.
The 17-year-old started the race well under the Finnish sun only to finish second in a time of 27 minutes and 40.36 seconds.
Kiplimo had led from the 1000m mark but he lost his lead to Africa junior cross-country champion Kipruto who took over in stunning fashion after 10 laps and did not look back.
His compatriot Solomon Boit would cushion him in second but Kiplimo reacted fast, keeping 25m behind Kipruto for most of the race.
By the time the bell rang, Kipruto’s master class had gained him a 40m lead and would only await a big applause after winning in a new championship record time of 27:21.08.
Another Ugandan Victor Kiplangat came sixth in a lifetime best time of 28:42.77. Kiplimo’s gold miss here will remind of the podium miss when he came fourth in the 10000m final won by Joshua Cheptegei at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.
He will, however count himself as a blessed man. On March 26, 2017, Kiplimo became the first Ugandan to win an individual gold at the World Cross-country championships in Kololo watched by President Museveni.
Yesterday, Kiplimo, also the youngest runner at the Rio Olympics, etched his name further in the history books of Uganda’s athletics after he became the first runner to win more than a medal at the World juniors.
This is Uganda’s 12th medal in total but only second silver in the history of the Championships after Benjamin Kiplagat’s 3000m steeplechase runner-up show in Bydgoszcz a decade ago.
They could have been two medals for Uganda yesterday but Sarah Chelangat came fourth in the women’s 5000m final despite being in the top three with three laps to go.
In the women’s 3000m steeplechase, title contender Peruth Chemutai was unchallenged in Heat 3, progressing to Friday’s final in 9:34.34. Daniel Kiprop and Hosea Kiplangat did not advance in their respective 1500m Heats.