Youngster Jacob Kiplimo is looking to become the third Ugandan runner to double on track at the Tokyo Olympics.
“My focus is the 10,000m,” he said in a recent interview. “I think I am going to first sit together with my coach. But to me, I think I will run double.”
However, Kiplimo must first qualify over the 5000m to confirm his desires.
The 20-year-old had initially set out to beat the qualifying mark over the 12-and-a-half-lap race at the Golden Gala Diamond Meeting in Florence, Italy on June 10.
Kiplimo will have one more shot at the Olympic ticket for the 5000m at the Spitzen Leichtathletik Meeting in Luzern, Switzerland next week.
“He will run on June 29th,” his manager Beppe Picotti, from Italian management Rosa Associati, confirmed yesterday.
The world half-marathon champion Kiplimo must run under a time of 13 minutes and 13.50 seconds at the Stadion Allmend on Tuesday.Ironically, that day is the deadline set by World Athletics for qualification to the Olympics, which definitely puts some pressure under Kiplimo’s spikes.
Kiplimo already qualified over the 10000m after winning the race in the seventh fastest time ever of 26:33.93 at the Ostrava Golden Spike Meeting in Czech Republic on May 19.
He also won the 5,000m race at the same event meeting in Ostrava last September in a stellar time of 12:48.63 - the second fastest time ever by a Ugandan - but it came outside the Olympic qualifying window.
Uganda has three quota places for the men’s 5000m in Tokyo and only Joshua Cheptegei and Oscar Chelimo have qualified.
10,000m race favourite Cheptegei and Winnie Nanyondo are the only other Ugandans runners looking to double in Tokyo. Nanyondo is preparing for both the 800m and 1,500m.
MEN’S 5000 METRES
World Champion: Edris Muktar (ETH)
Olympic Champion: Mo Farah (GBR)
World Record: 12:35.35 (Joshua Cheptegei (UGA)
Tokyo Olympic Final: August 6
Uganda’s Tokyo reps (qualified): Joshua Cheptegei, Oscar Chelimo (3 to be selected)
Kenya’s Tokyo reps: Nicholas Kimeli, Daniel Simui, Samuel Chebole
2016 Olympic Medallists: Mo Farah (GBR), Paul Chelimo (USA), Hagos Gebrhiwet (ETH)
AT A GLANCE
Full Name: Jacob Kiplimo
Date of birth: November 14, 2000
Major events: 5000m, 10000m
Coach: Iacorpo Brasi
Personal Bests: 7:26.64 (3000m), 12:48.63 (5000m), 26:33.93 (10000m)
Manager: Federico Rosa
Management: Rosa Association 2019