Jacob Kiplimo is fastest teenager

Friday September 18 2020

Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo celebrates his victory and set the new World League record after the men's 3000mt final during the IAAF Diamond League competition on September 17, 2020 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. AFP PHOTO

By Darren Allan Kyeyune

There is almost nothing like Eliud Kipchoge in world athletics. The Kenyan is arguably the greatest marathoner of the modern era.

He has won 12 of the 13 marathons and is the world record holder over the 42km distance with a time of 2hr, 1min and 39sec. Having become the first man to run the distance under two hours last year and with even a glitzy career prior on track, to hit one of his marks, one deserves a salute.

Jacob Kiplimo beat Kipchoge’s previous mark to become the fastest teenager ever over 3000m after he won the race at the Rome Diamond League (DL) Meeting in Italy on Thursday night.

The 19-year-old won his second track race in nine days after upstaging prerace favourite Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, thanks to a stellar kick in the final stretch at the Olympic Stadium.

Kiplimo won the race in 7min, 26. 64sec, the fastest time since Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele posted 7:25.79 in Stockholm, Sweden, on August 7, 2007.



This was a minute and eight microseconds faster than Kipchoge’s time of 7:27.72 posted on September 3, 2004, in Belgian capital Brussels, 63 days shy of his 20th birthday.

Kiplimo, who also turns 20 on November 14, also set a new 3000m DL record, a new personal (PB), and also broke the 11-year-old national record (NR).

The previous NR mark stood at 7min, 30.95 sec run by Moses Kipsiro in Monaco, France, on July 28, 2009.

Slightly over a week after stunning world silver medallist Ethiopian Selemon Barega over the 5000m race with a PB of 12min, 48.63sec at the Ostrava Golden Spike Meet in Czech Republic, the cameras were all over Kiplimo before the gun.

But two-time European indoor champion Ingebrigtsen was favourite, having set a 1500m Area Record last month.

Irish pacesetter Seán Tobin and Australian Stewart McSweyn led through 200m with Kiplimo in third. When Tobin fell off with three laps to go, Kiplimo led with Ingebrigtsen on his heels until the latter took over with 650m to go.

But Kiplimo delivered another strong kick in the home stretch, coming into lane 2 to overtake the Scandinavian. Ingebrigtsen, who turns 20 today, posted 7mins, 27.05sec, the second-fastest time by a teenager.