Kiplimo - Aregawi showdown in Monaco

Kiplimo must stand tall in Monaco. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Reality Check. Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo will face his in-form friend Ethiopian Berihu Aregawi over the 5000m duel in Monaco tonight. Aregawi is the fastest over that distance in the world in 2023 but he has never lost a competitive race to Kiplimo across six meetings in five years. Meanwhile, another Ugandan Winnie Nanyondo will hope to fine-tune ahead of the Budapest Worlds when she runs the mile alongside her Kenyan friend Faith Kipyegon.

For three years now, Jacob Kiplimo has been strolling in the global long-distance running arena.

He has barely failed to put a foot wrong since recovering from the problematic muscular injury of 2019.

Seven win in 10 races

That unwelcome reset has since seen the youngster win championship medals and world titles over the half-marathon in 2020 and at the world-country early this year.

Kiplimo has actually won seven of his last 10 races, including the Commonwealth track double. He could have actually won his last race, over the 5000m during the Bislett Games in Norwegian capital Oslo on June 15.

However, Kiplimo crossed the tape at the same time with Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha in a winning time of 12 minutes and 41.73 seconds but the latter won by breadths of a second in a photo-finish.

Kiplimo however is intent on improving his 10000m bronze from Oregon 2022 to silver or gold come the Budapest World Championships in Hungary next month.

Kiplimo-Aregawi showdown

And the 22-year-old will hope to raise the bar higher when he competes in the elite field for the men’s 5000m at the Herculis Diamond League (DL) in Monaco, France on Friday.

In Oslo, Kiplimo and Kejelcha produced the joint-fifth fastest times ever over the 12-and-a-half-lap distance in history.

At the Lausanne DL Meeting in Switzerland on June 30, Ethiopian Berihu Aregawi bettered that time for the year by winning in 12:40.45, ahead of another Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei.

Now race organisers have pitted Kiplimo against Aregawi in the 17-man field tonight. This is where the race will be.

Ironically, Aregawi has never beaten Kiplimo in six different races. They last faced on February 25 in Bathurst, Australia where Kiplimo won gold and Aregawi won silver over the senior men’s 10km race during the World Cross-Country Championships.

Both are handled by Federico Rosa of the Italian management Rosa Associati and after Bathurst, they shared a training program in Tuscany, central Italy.

The pair first met during the 2018 World Athletics U20 Championships and Kiplimo got silver while Aregawi claimed bronze over the 10000m final in Tampere, Finland.

Friendship out of the window

At the Stade Louis II in Fontvieille tonight, the friendship will step aside and tactics will come into play. Their engines will be put to test properly.

Aregawi is slowly learning how to grind out the field, as shown in Lausanne but Kiplimo turns into a speedy yet unmatched limousine when it matters most.

The last five laps will shape what is surely set to be a classic race before Budapest. However, the rest of the field will have something to say, particularly experienced 2019 bronze medallist Canadian Mohammed Ahmed, ever-green DL runner Spaniard Mohammed Katir and Italian Yemaneberhan Crippa.

There are other Ethiopians including in-form Haile Bekele and 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet as well as 2022 world 5000m silver medallist Kenyan Jacob Krop.

Nine men on the entry list have posted under 13 minutes this season, another indicator of a classic to come.


12:35.36 - Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) on Aug 14, 2020

12:37.35 - Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) on May 31, 2004

12:39.36 - Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) on Jun 13, 1998

12:39.74 - Daniel Komen (KEN) on Aug 22, 1997

12:40.45 - Berihu Aregawi (ETH) on Jun 30, 2023

12:41.61 - Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) on Jun 30, 2023

12:41.73 - Yomif Kejelcha (ETH) on Jun 15, 2023

12:41.73 - Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) on Jun 15, 2023


Date of birth: November 14, 2000

Major events: 5000m, 10000m

Coach: Iacorpo Brasi

Personal Bests: 7:26.64 (3000m), 12:41.73 (5000m), 26:33.93 (10000m)

Manager: Federico Rosa

Management: Rosa Associati



Jun 15: Bislett Games (5000m), 12:41.73 (2nd)

Mar 19: New York City (21km), 1:01:31 (1st)

Feb 18: World X-Country (10km), 29:17 (1st)


Sep 11: Great North Run (21km), 59:33 (1st)

Aug 6: XXII Commonwealth Games (5000m), 13:08.08 (1st)

Aug 2: XXII Commonwealth Games (100000m), 27:09.19 (1st)

Jul 17: Oregon Worlds (10000m), 27:27.97 (3rd)

Jun 30: Stockholm DL (3000m), 7:29.55 (2nd)

Feb 19: Ras Al Khaimah Half-Marathon (21km), 57:56 (1st)


Nov 21: Lisbon Marathon (42km), 57:31 (1st)

Aug 21: Prefontaine Classic (Two Miles), 8:10.16 (4th)