Ugandan Abraham Kiplimo did not make the podium as desired but rather ran his second fastest 42km race at the Beppu-Oita Marathon in Japan on Sunday.
On the third appearance in his career at the event, Kiplimo finished a distant eighth in hot conditions in a time of two hours, 12 minutes and 18 seconds. “Eighth but in the end, the positive here is a three-minute improvement from October,” said manager Jurrie van der Velden.
The 2014 Commonwealth bronze medallist had registered a big improvement from 2:15:35 when he came sixth at the Lyon Marathon in France last October.
Lyon was Kiplimo’s first marathon in two years having suffered knee problems after failing to finish the race at 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China. Beppu-Oita continued to affirm his quick healing process. “His focus, dedication and perseverance is the key to his comeback,” Jurrie said of the 28-year-old.
More encouraging is that at the 30km mark, Kiplimo was in the joint-lead with Kenyan Josphat Kiprono in a bid face any change of tactics from the front pack.
But the field somehow disintegrated into small groups and Desmond Mokgobu held to become the first South African to win this race since 2006 in a time of 2:09:31.
Kiplimo won’t be able to defend his medal at the Commonwealth Games in April but Jurrie plans another race for the former track runner.
2018 BEPP-OITA MARATHON
1. Desmond Mokgobu (RSA) 2:09:31
2. Hayato Sonoda (JAP) - 2:09:34
3. Shohei Otsuka (JAP) - 2:10:12
4. Josphat Kiprono (KEN) - 2:10:54
8. Abraham Kiplimo (UGA) - 2:12:18