Kiplimo hunts for speed

Need For Speed.  Kiplimo has recovered from a bout of illness and is raring to go. PHOTO | JOHN BATANUDDE

One probably ought to be hearing the name Jacob Kiplimo quite a lot now. After all, the Oregon World Championships at the Hayward Field in Oregon, USA come in just under three weeks.

But the Olympic 10000m bronze medallist has been low key. The 21-year-old has not raced since expectedly winning the 21km race at the Rak Half-Marathon in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE on February 15.

So tonight, Kiplimo will be up his first track race of the year when he lines-up in a field of 15 men for the 3000m race during the Stockholm Diamond League (DL) in Sweden.

“Yes, I am going there just to run well because this is my first race,” Kiplimo told this paper before flying out this week.

The Kween-based runner should have already had a race or two in his body though. But, he pulled out of the 5000m race days before the Eugene DL leg stage on May 29 because he wasn’t ready.

Then, after confirmation from Beppe Picotti, one of his Italian managers at Rosa Associati, Kiplimo was entered for the 5000m at the Paris DL leg in France set for June 18. He again pulled out because he was sick.  

Better health

Tonight, he is feeling much better. “Yes, somehow,” Kiplimo replied about his status. He is intent on getting his speed act together before competing over the 10000m final at the Oregon Worlds on July 17.

And he can win the race at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium considering he has the fastest personal best over the 3000m, at 7:26.64 which is a national record and the ninth fastest time ever.

Before Kiplimo, Ronald Musagala who has recovered from a terrible muscle problem, will also fancy a podium when he goes for his third 1500m outdoor race of the year.

Now based at the Global Sports Communication camp in Nijmegen, Netherlands, Musagala warmed up by posting 3:38.31 to finish third at the Marseille Meeting in France on June 15.

“At least, I am not bad. I am doing well,” he said after a workout with his training partners Winnie Nanyondo and Halimah Nakaayi in Nijmegen.

Musagala won the 1500m race at the Akii-Bua Memorial in Namboole on June 4 with 3:42.91 but in Stockholm, the 2018 Africa Senior bronze medallist wants more.

“3:35, that’s my target,” Musagala added. And he is capable. His personal best of 3:30.58 is the quickest in the 15-man field.

Personal goals

Meanwhile, Nanyondo will hope to break the four-minute barrier over the 1500m while world 800m champion Nakaayi is intent on a season best time over the 800m.

She posted 1:58.68 for fourth place after arguably her best push over the final 100m during the Bislett Games in Norway on June 16.

“No plan from my side. Field is strong again with (Keely) Hodgkinson and (Mary) Moraa,” Nakaayi’s coach Addy Ruiter noted.

Briton Hodgkinson won at Bislett in 1:57.71, the fourth fastest time over the two-lap distance this year. Kenyan Moraa clocked 1:57.45 - third fastest time this year - to win the National Trials in Nairobi last weekend.


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