Marathon world at Kiplangat’s feet

Gold medalist, Uganda's Victor Kiplangat (C), silver medalist, Israel's Maru Teferi (L) and bronze medalist, Ethiopia's Leul Gebresilase (R) celebrate during the podium ceremony for the men's marathon. PHOTO/AFP 

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Class Act. Victor Kiplangat ran a well calculated race to beat 83 other men to the marathon gold on the streets of Budapest, making him the fifth different world champion ever from Uganda. Kiplangat had strong nerves, adding this silverware to his Commonwealth title after recovery from a hamstring problem with attention on his one-month-old baby. That is also now three wins in five career marathons for the 23-year-old since 2021 with none finished beyond fourth place.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY. Victor Kiplangat reintroduced himself to the globe in a finer manner by adding the marathon world title to his Commonwealth gong on the final day of the Budapest World Athletics Championships on Sunday.

The Ugandan bossed the final third of the 42km race on the streets of the Hungarian capital to cross the tape at the famous Heroes’ Square in a time of two hours, eight minutes and 53 seconds.

“It was my day. God has favoured me,” a happy Kiplangat said moments after his celebrations. He had jumped in awe, wrapped around the national flag and with the medal on his chest.

“This is the dream I have been preparing for,” said the 23-year-old after securing the country’s second gold medal at the Budapest Worlds. “It’s a big celebration, especially back home and for my family.”

His training partner Stephen Kissa finished fifth in a time of 2:10:22, despite falling down after contact on the heels of Kenyan Timothy Kiplagat at about 32km.

Another Ugandan Andrew Kwemoi did not complete, falling out before the 33rd kilometre. “I got a problem here,” said Kwemoi while pointing to his left knee.

Kiplangat however did not expect this win, he admits. Two months ago, he was struggling with a swollen and painful hamstring. While he reduced training and tried cycling to fade the pain away, the step-brother to Jacob Kiplimo and Oscar Chelimo also welcomed a baby four weeks ago.

These contrasting distractions did not deter him. He is now the fifth Ugandan in the Worlds’ history to taste gold after Dorcus Inzikuru, Stephen Kiprotich, Halimah Nakaayi and Joshua Cheptegei.

Kiprotich in particular won the marathon title at the Moscow 2013 Worlds in Russia. “It means that restoration has come to Uganda. It has been my dream that one day I will dominate this race,” said Kiplangat.

“There was too much pressure for me, being that last year I became the Commonwealth champion. The whole Uganda was seeing me and all eyes were on me. I thank God that he has given me the opportunity.”

It may be subject to debate but national record holder Kissa looked pretty solid and could have medalled too, had it not been for that detrimental fall.

On a rather hot morning, race organisers World Athletics had reduced the course by 4km to a 6km-loop on Saturday and actually advised competitors who weren’t used to outrageous hot conditions not participate.

For Kiplangat and Kissa though, it was all perfect weather. Together with Kwemoi, they started strong in the big lead group, crossing 5km in 14:59 minutes.

At halfway stage, Rwandan John Hakizimana led and a group of 31 men were within three seconds of each other. But some 4km later, the group size went down to just about 21 men after an injection of pace from Italian Yohanes Chiappinelli. 

After crossing the beautiful Szechenyi Chain Bridge over River Danube, Kiplangat made the first move and Kissa joined him up front, crossing 30km in 1:32:14.

The front group again broke down to 11 men, Japanese Ichitaka Yamashita leading briefly at 31km but Kiplangat regained his lead and never looked back.

Behind him, after a drinks point, Kissa fell while trying to go across and it left two Ethiopians title holder Tamirat Tola and Leul Gebresilase on his back.

Kiplangat got rid of Tola but Gebresilase stayed with him for the next 6km. At the back, Kissa was back on his feet and fighting. He overtook three men Kiplagat, Israeli Maru Teferi and Ethiopian Tsegaye Getachew to close in on Tola around St Stephen’s Church.

The front two have a 15-second lead over Tola at 35km and Kiplangat hit 36km in 1:49.50 before peeling away from Gebresilase completely at 38km. The black, yellow and red flags came out from the Ugandan group manning the water points as the gold was in sight. 

Behind them, Teferi and Kissa were on the heels of Tola, who dropped out before 39km. In the home straight, Teferi overtook Gebresilase for the silver in 2:09:12. Gebresilase won 2:09:19 while Lesotho’s Tebello Ramakongoana came fourth in 2:09:57.

Kiplangat is the third Ugandan marathoner to medal at the Worlds after Kiprotich and Solomon Mutai, who won bronze at the 2015 Worlds in Chinese capital Beijing.




1 Victor Kiplangat (UGA)                2:08:53

2 Maru Teferi (ISR)                            2:09:12

3 Leul Gebresilase (ETH)                   2:09:19

4 Tebello Ramakongoana (LES)         2:09:57

5 Stephen Kissa (UGA)                    2:10:22

DNF Andrew Kwemoi (UGA)         DNF


1 Amane Shankule (ETH)                   2:24:23

2 Gotytom Gebreslase (ETH)             2:24:34

3 Fatima Gardadi (MAR)                   2:25:17

14 Rebecca Cheptegei (UGA)          2:29:34

18 Mercyline Chelangat (UGA)       2:31:40

21 Doreen Chesang (UGA)              2:32:11


1 Noah Lyles (USA)                           19.76

2 Alexander Ogando (DOM)              20.02

3 Tarsis Orogot (UGA)                     20.26


Full Name: Victor Kiplangat

Date of birth: Nov 10, 1999

Major Events: Half-Marathon, Marathon

Personal Bests: 59:26 (21km), 2:05:09 (42km)

Coach: Addy Ruiter

Manager: Jurrie van der Velden


Nov 7, 2021: Istanbul Marathon, 1st (2:10:18)

Apr 24, 2022: Hamburg Marathon, 4th (2:05:09)

Jul 30, 2022: XXII Commonwealth Games, 1st (2:10:55)

Feb 26, 2023: Osaka Marathon, 2nd (2:06:03)

Aug 27, 2023: Budapest World Champs, 1st (2:08.53)


Budapest 2023: Victor Kiplangat (1st, 2:08:53), Stephen Kissa (5th, 2:10:22), Andrew Kwemoi (DNF)

Oregon 2022: Jackson Kiprop (33rd, 2:12:14), Filex Chemongesi (34th, 2:12:16), Fred Musobo (40th, 2:13:58)

Doha 2019: Fred Musobo (13th, 2:13:42), Stephen Kiprotich (18th, 2:15:04), Solomon Mutai (DNF) 

London 2017: Solomon Mutai (11th, 2:13:29), Robert Chemonges (43rd, 2:21:24)

Beijing 2015: Solomon Mutai (3rd, 2:13:29), Stephen Kiprotich (6th, 2:14:42), Abraham Kiplimo (DNF)

Moscow 2013: Stephen Kiprotich (1st, 2:09:51), Jackson Kiprop (10th, 2:12:12), Abraham Kiplimo (19th, 2:16:25)

Daegu 2011: Stephen Kiprotich (9th, 2:12:57), Daniel Chepyegon (DNF), Nicholas Kiprono (DNF)

Berlin 2009: Daniel Chepyegon (31st, 2:17:47), Nicholas Kiprono (DNF), Amos Masai (DNF)

Osaka 2007: Alex Malinga (12th, 2:20:36), Amos Masai (DNF)     

Helsinki 2005: Alex Malinga (12th, 2:12:12), David Sumukwo (DNS)