Kiplimo’s injury blows up Uganda’s medal quest

Uganda will miss Kiplimo in Budapest. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Huge Miss. Kiplimo will miss the World Championships for a second time in three editions following an acute injury near his right hamstring. He will be a huge miss for Uganda’s medal count in Budapest especially after having won six individual medals at the last five major global championships since 2020 including the World Half-Marathon, World Cross-country and Commonwealth titles.

Whereas some have come to terms with it, the news is still unacceptable to many. Jacob Kiplimo will not compete at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary which get underway on Saturday.

The long-distance runner was meant to compete over the 10000m final this Sunday and the men’s 5000m race with Heats on August 24 at the National Athletics Centre. 

However, an acute injury near the hamstring area of the right leg suffered a fortnight ago now rules the 22-year-old out. 

“On August 1, I got an injury during a speed work session. Together with my team, coach, management, Federation and the physio, we tried everything possible to manage and be ready for my races in Hungary,” Kiplimo wrote in a statement.

Before the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) made the announcement last week, Kiplimo’s management had tried everything to try to prepare for Budapest. 

The news was concealed for several days as several parties hoped the multiple world champion would recover in time. “Budapest was the main goal of 2023 and renouncing my participation is very sad for me, but this is the sport,” he said.

Sadly, Kiplimo will now miss Worlds for a second time in three editions. After winning the Great Manchester Run in England, Kiplimo suffered a muscular problem and missed the Doha World Championships in Qatar four years ago.

Kiplimo had a troublesome recovery period but he was fresh during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. His bounce back has since yielded enormous silverware at global championships for the country.

This explains why his untimely exit from the Budapest-bound team is a huge blow for Uganda’s medal quest. Kiplimo has won 10 championship medals since breaking out as a 16-year-old in 2016. 

Last year, he reaped the 10000m bronze at the Oregon Worlds in Eugene, USA and particularly played a crucial role in marinating that field at the Hayward Field before compatriot Joshua Cheptegei retained the gold medal.

After Eugene, Kiplimo secured the 5000m and 10000m Commonwealth double in Birmingham, England and early this year, he had the world under his feet when he won the senior men’s 10km title during World Cross-country Championships in Bathurst, Australia.

Kiplimo is already an accomplished runner having won the Olympic 10000m bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games in Japan two years ago while in 2020, he powered to the World Half-Marathon title in Gdynia, Poland.

In Eugene, Uganda won three medals, the country’s biggest tally ever at a World Championship. With Kiplimo finishing on the podium in 10 of his last 12 races, he was expected to push Cheptegei in that 25-lap final.

And in the 5000m, Kiplimo would have desired a finish better than fifth place he got in Tokyo, especially in company of his half-brother Oscar Chelimo and Cheptegei. 

His absence now means Uganda will look to Cheptegei, Chelimo who pocketed the 5000m bronze medal from Eugene, the cast of marathoners, Olympic 3000m steeplechase queen Peruth Chemutai and 2019 world 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi for medals.

Uganda has collected a total 11 medals in the Worlds’ history with only Cheptegei collecting more than one. 


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



Jul 21: Herculis Diamond League (5000m), 12:48.78 (6th)

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)



Women: Halimah Nakaayi (800m), Winnie Nanyondo (1500m), Peruth Chemutai (3000m steeplechase), Sarah Chelangat (5000m & 10000m), Prisca Chesang Chemweno (5000m), Stella Chesang (10000m), Doreen Chesang, Rebecca Cheptegei, Mercyline Chelangat (all marathon)

Men: Tarsis Orogot (200m), Tom Dradriga (800m), Abu Mayanja (1500m), Leonard Chemutai (3000m steeplechase), Oscar Chelimo (5000m), Joshua Cheptegei (5000m & 10000m), Rogers Kibet (10000m), Joel Ayeko (10000m), Stephen Kissa, Victor Kiplangat , Andrew Kwemoi (all marathon)

Officials: Quinto Oding (Physiotherapist), Peter Chelangat (Safeguarding officer), Grace Chesang, Benjamin Njia & Faustino Kiwa (Coaches), Domenic Otucet (Leader of delegation)


Athens 1997: Davis Kamoga (Silver, 400m)  

Helsinki 2005: Dorcus Inzikuru (Gold, 3000m SC) 

Osaka 2007: Moses Kipsiro (Bronze, 5000m)

Moscow 2013: Stephen Kiprotich (Gold, Marathon)

Beijing 2015: Solomon Mutai (Bronze, Marathon)

London 2017: Joshua Cheptegei (Silver, 10000m)

Doha 2019: Halimah Nakaayi (Gold, 800m)

Doha 2019: Joshua Cheptegei (Gold, 10000m)

Eugene 2022: Joshua Cheptegei (Gold, 10000m)

Eugene 2022: Jacob Kiplimo (Bronze, 10000m)

Eugene 2022: Oscar Chelimo (Bronze, 5000m)