Jacob Kiplimo continued his return to racing with a stunning performance at the NN Zevenheuvelenloop
World cross-country champion Jacob Kiplimo continued his return to racing with a stunning performance at the NN Zevenheuvelenloop in Nijmegen on Sunday (19), equalling the world 15km best with 41:05.
The Ugandan was forced to miss the World Championships in Budapest and World Road Running Championships in Riga through injury, but returned to action at the end of last month with a convincing win at the Cross Country Tour Gold meeting in Atapuerca.
Today he notched up another victory, winning by 99 seconds to equal the world best set five years ago by his compatriot Joshua Cheptegei.
He started out at a relatively conservative pace, mindful of the fact there was a big climb to come between 3.5km and 5km. He reached 3km in 8:42 – 23 seconds down on Cheptegei’s pace from 2018 – and got to 5km in 14:24, by which point compatriot Rogers Kibet was already struggling to stay in touch.
Shortly after, Kiplimo was out in front alone and he passed through 8km in 22:31 with a 24-second leading margin. He hit the 10km checkpoint in 27:49, the exact same split Cheptegei recorded during his landmark run. From that point on, Kiplimo’s pace fluctuated slightly; sometimes ahead of course record pace, sometimes behind it.
A 2:31 final kilometer – his fastest of the race – brought him home in 41:05. Kibet held on to second place in 42:44, securing a Ugandan 1-2.
Although 41:05 is the fastest ever performance in a standalone 15km race, Kiplimo recorded a 15km split of 40:27 en route to his half marathon world record in Lisbon in 2021.
World steeplechase record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech was a convincing winner of the women’s race, crossing the line in 47:12 to finish 43 seconds ahead of Israel’s Lonah Salpeter.
posted Monday November 20th
by World Athletics