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Articles tagged #Jacob Kiplimo
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Worku and Yavi are in the spotlight at the Cinque Mulini cross country in Italy

Ethiopian teenager Tadese Worku and defending champion Winfred Mutile Yavi from Bahrain will be in the spotlight at the 88th edition of the Cinque Mulini in San Vittore Olona, Italy, the seventh leg of this season’s World Athletics Cross Country Permit, on Sunday (26).

The 2020 edition of the famous Italian cross country race will be highlighted by a battle between the new wave of African stars, duded “Generation Z” by race organisers, and the best Italian middle distance runners.

Three of the top four finishers in the U20 race at last year’s World Cross Country Championships - Worku, Oscar Chelimo from Uganda and Leonard Kipkemboi Bett from Kenya - will line-up in the men’s race.

Worku, who turned 18 on 20 January, won the U20 silver medal in Aarhus last March. He has been one of most consistent cross country runners this season with back-to-back wins in the World Athletics Cross Country Permit meetings in Elgoibar and Seville. Worku also won the Giro di Castelbuono road race last July, finished third at the Giro al Sas in Trento and set career best times of 7:43.24 in the 3000m and 13:18.17 in the 5000m.

Chelimo, the younger brother of 2018 Cinque Mulini winner Jacob Kiplimo, won bronze in the same Arhus race and took bronze in the 3000m at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The 18-year-old Ugandan clocked 7:44.82 in the 3000m and 13:20.10 in the 5000m.

Bett won the world U20 steeplechase title in 2018 and went on to finish fourth in the U20 race in Aarhus. He set his 3000m steeplechase lifetime best of 8:08.61 in Doha last May.

Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo will fight for another top-three placing after winning in Alcobendas on 24 November and finishing second in Soria one week earlier. The 22-year-old trains with Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa under the guidance of Italian coach Massimo Pegoretti.

Morocco’s 1500m specialist Abdelati Iguider will test his shape over a longer distance with the aim to continue the proud Moroccan tradition in San Vittore Olona, which started with the wins of Khalid Skah in 1991 and Salah Hissou in 1999 and the runner-up finish by Soufian El Bakkali in 2017. Iguider won the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.

Another interesting entrant is Kenya’s Jackson Muema, who won the cross country race at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

Crippa will carry Italian hopes for a top-three placing after finishing fourth for the second consecutive year at the Campaccio Cross Country race on 6 January. During a successful 2019 season Crippa finished eighth in the 10,000m at the World Championships clocking 27:10.76 to break the national record. Last December he won European Cross Country bronze after winning the U20 race in 2014 and 2015 and finishing third in the U23 race in 2016 and 2017. Crippa trained for three weeks in Monte Gordo in Portugal in preparation for the Cinque Mulini and will be aiming to become the first Italian to reach the podium since Stefano Baldini in 2005.

The Italian line-up is completed by Yohanes Chiappinelli, the European 3000m steeplechase bronze medallist in 2018, Cesare Maestri, silver medallist at the 2019 World Mountain Running Championships and winner at last week’s Vallagarina Cross Country race in Rovereto, and Italian 5000m champion Marouan Razine, who finished sixth at the Campaccio this year.

Yavi targetting successful defence

Yavi will return to San Vittore Olona to defend the title she won last year in snowy conditions. The 20-year-old went on to finish fourth in the 3000m steeplechase at the World Championships after improving her lifetime best to 9:10.74 in Monaco.

Kenyan hopes will be carried by Mercy Cherono, world silver medallist in the 5000m in Moscow 2013, and Gloria Kite, who finished third in the 2019 Cinque Mulini and in the 2020 Campaccio and set her 3000m PB with 8:29.91 in Doha last May.

The women’s race will be also highlighted by 20-year-old Kenyan Jackline Jerono, who won two recent cross country races in Allonnes and Le Mans, France, and Jasmijn Bakker from the Netherlands, who was fourth in the U23 race at last month’s European Championships.  

Rising Italian middle distance star Nadia Battocletti will aim to continue her successful season after claiming her second European Cross Country U20 title and finishing sixth at the Campaccio. The daughter of former distance runner Giuliano Battocletti won the European U20 silver medal in the 5000m last year.

Other Italian runners in the field are world U20 mountain running champion Angela Mattevi and Valeria Roffino, who finished 11th at the European Cross Country Championships.

(01/25/2020) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie comes from behind to crack course record in Sao Paulo

Little-known Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie timed his finish to perfection at the Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre, overtaking pre-race favorite Jacob Kiplimo in the final stages of the 15km World Athletics Bronze Label road race with a 42:59 course record on Tuesday.

Marathon world record-holder Brigid Kosgei won the women’s race by more than a minute, clocking 48:54 to finish just 20 seconds shy of the course record.

Kandie and Kiplimo broke away from the other three men in the lead pack just after the half-way stage. Just before the climb up Brigadeiro Luis Antônio Avenue, Kiplimo took advantage and entered Paulista Avenue – less than 700 meters from the finish line – with a comfortable lead, seemingly destined to become the first Ugandan winner of the race.

But Kandie started kicking hard in the final 40 meters of the race and overtook Kiplimo just before the line, stopping the clock at 42:59 to win by one second. Both men finished well inside the previous course record of 43:15 that had been set by Paul Tergat back in 1995.

Kosgei, contesting her first race since clocking a marathon world record of 2:14:04 (pending ratification) in Chicago in October, lived up to her status as the pre-race favorite in the women’s contest.

Compatriot Pauline Kamulu tried sticking with Kosgei in the early stages, but it didn’t last long as the 25-year-old already had a clear lead at the five-kilometer mark.

By the time she reached the uphill section of the race, her opponents were no longer in sight. Realizing that she wasn’t far off course record schedule, Kosgei increased her pace in the closing stages but ultimately finished just shy of the mark in 48:54. She became just the third woman in the event’s history to complete the course within 49 minutes.

(12/31/2019) ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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Saint Sylvester Road Race

Saint Sylvester Road Race

The Saint Silvester Road Race (Portuguese: Corrida Internacional de São Silvestre) is a long-distance running event, the oldest and most prestigious street race in Brazil. Regarded as the main international event in Latin American athletics, the Brazilian competition is held yearly in the city of São Paulo on December 31. São Paulo's race was originally known as a "marathon", although...

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Selemon Barega is going to defend his two-mile title at the Prefontaine Classic at Stanford and Yomif added to mile field

Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega will return to the Prefontaine Classic to defend his two-mile title at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stanford on 30 June.

Barega, the 2016 world U20 champion, won the 2018 Diamond League 5000m title in 12:43.02, a time bettered only by the last three world record setters – two of whom ran before he was born.

Already this year, the 19-year-old has finished fifth at the World Cross Country Championships, first over 10,000m at the Ethiopian Championships and has recorded a season’s best of 12:53.04 for 5000m.

Olympic silver medallist Paul Chelimo finished second to Barega in the two-mile race at last year’s Prefontaine Classic. He may have one eye on the North American best of 8:07.07 set by Matt Tegenkamp in 2007.

Asian champion Birhanu Balew was the only athlete to beat Barega on the IAAF Diamond League circuit last year. The Bahraini runner, who finished third in this event at last year’s Pre Classic, will be looking to get the better of Barega once again.

Abadi Hadis, the 2017 world cross-country bronze medallist, recently came close to his 5000m PB with 12:56.48 in Rome. The versatile Ethiopian also equalled his half marathon PB of 58:44 earlier this year.

Olympic bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet will be contesting the distance for the first time. The Ethiopian has finished third over 5000m in Shanghai and Rome so far this year and second over 10,000m in Stockholm.

World cross-country champion Joshua Cheptegei and fellow Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo are also in the field. Kiplimo finished 11th in this race last year, setting a national record of 8:25.17 – a time that should be within range for both men this time round.

Mo Ahmed, who last week lowered the Canadian 5000m record to 12:58.16, was also in last year’s Pre Classic two-mile race, finishing fourth.

Getaneh Molla made headlines earlier this year when he won the Dubai Marathon in 2:03:34, the fastest debut marathon in history. The Ethiopian will be moving down in distance in Stanford.

While younger brothers Filip and Jakob will line up for the mile in Stanford, older brother Henrik Ingebrigtsen will contest the two-mile event and will look to improve upon his 8:22.31 fifth-place finish from last year.

Others in the field include world U20 1500m record-holder Ronald Kwemoi, Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Paul Tanui, 2018 world 10,000m leader Richard Yator, world U20 cross-country champion Milkesa Mengesha, Australia’s Stewart McSweyn and Canada’s Justyn Knight.

In other Stanford-related news, world indoor record-holder Yomif Kejelcha has been added to the Bowerman Mile field.

(06/12/2019) ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

World Athletics made official Thursday what long has been suspected, with international track & field’s governing body announcing the Prefontaine Classic has been postponed. No new date has been set. The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, had been scheduled for June 6-7 at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. All Diamond...

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Hellen Obiri, Steph Twell, Andy Vernon and Stanley Biwott are among the big names racing the Great Manchester 10km on Sunday

The Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run returns on Sunday, with a number of top elite athletes set to battle for titles ahead of the 30,000-strong mass race.

Kenya’s world 5000m and recent world cross country champion Hellen Obiri is making her debut at the event and will be faced with a field containing Ethiopia’s Tokyo marathon winner Ruta Aga, while two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat also features, as does Ireland’s Fionnula McCormack.

A healthy British contingent is headed by Steph Twell, who won the Brighton 10km in 31:58 last month, and she is joined by Mhairi Maclennan, Jenny Nesbitt and Aly Dixon, who was recently named part of Britain’s IAU 50km World Championships team for the event in Romania in September.

Ugandan world cross silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo is fastest in the men’s field with a personal best of 26:41, though he will be facing the likes of Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, Boston Marathon runner-up this year, and Kenya’s 2015 New York marathon winner Stanley Biwott.

Mo Farah is not defending the title he won last year but the British presence will feature Nick Goolab, a man on form and the fastest Briton over 10km so far this year after breaking the course record with a run of 28:22 when winning in Brighton.

He will be joined by compatriots Emile Cairess, Ieuan Thomas and Dan Studley.

(05/17/2019) ⚡AMP
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Great Manchester Run

Great Manchester Run

The Great Manchester Run, established in 2003, is an annual 10 kilometer run through Greater Manchester and is the largest 10K in Europe. Usually held in mid-May, it is the third-largest mass participation running event in the United Kingdom behind the Great North Run and the London Marathon. It is part of the Great Runs series of road races in...

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Twenty-year-old Joel Ayeko from Uganda is hoping to make an impact at the 2019 FNB Cape Town 12 OneRun

Ayeko is a relative newcomer to the sport, making his first appearance in 2016 at the Pettinengo 9,6km race in Italy, where he finished 14th behind illustrious names such as multiple world champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, and Jacob Kiplimo.

Ayeko did not race in 2017, but was back on the roads in 2018, winning the Mastboscreda Cross Country Race in January, and then the Parelloop 10km in March, where he ran a time of 29:06.

Ayeko is one of those athletes who strongly believes that Cross Country is a very important part of building a middle-distance runner’s career and has already lined up in two races this year, placing 5th at the National Ugandan Cross Country Trials in February, before going on to finish 10th at the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark on 30 March.

That result in Denmark speaks volumes, when one takes a look at the names that finished ahead of Ayeko. The world title was won by Joshua Cheptegei, the 15km world record-holder.

Jacob Kiplimo, the 10 000m World Junior Champion silver medalist of 2018 was second. Two-time winner and two-time world half-marathon champion, Geoffrey Kamworor was third.

The second-fastest ever runner over 10km, Rhonex Kipruto, could only finish 7th. So this was an incredible run by one so young and new to the sport.

“I am excited to come to Cape Town. I have heard lots of good things about the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN from my fellow countrymen, and know that this is a fast race with great competition.

So if I can run well here, then I know I am improving all the time,” said Ayeko. “I know about the fast finish in the final kilometre and am preparing for it.”

(05/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cape Town 12 Onerun

Cape Town 12 Onerun

This fast flat route takes runners through a working harbour and into a quiet city centre for a scintillating, fast and furious finish; music, enthusiastic support and a later than usual start time for a road race. The FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN, the most passionate and welcoming road race on the South African running calendar. ...

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Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei named Sportsman of the year

Joshua Cheptegei surprised the world at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Friday night, Joshua Cheptegei was crowned 2018 Nile Special –Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) Sportsman of the year a befitting honor at Imperial Royale Hotel.

Cheptegei was voted the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) Moment of the Month for his outstanding performance in Aarhus, where he led a Ugandan 1-2 finish with Compatriot Jacob Kiplimo taking silver.  

“My big motivation was Kololo 2017 when I got a muscle pull before the home crowd but I have moved on. The Kenyans and Ethiopians should know we are coming , the end of a race in athletics is the beginning of a new one”.

(04/07/2019) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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Joshua Cheptegei takes the title by 25 meters at the senior men’s race at the World Cross-Country Championships

Two years ago, at his home championship in Kampala, Cheptegei looked all over the winner when he had dashed to a 60-metre lead at the start of the final lap. But his apparently decisive move came too soon. Half-way around the final lap he was in trouble. Soon after that he literally did not know where he was.

Today in Aarhus was atonement day, as Cheptegei dashed clear of precocious teammate Jacob Kiplimo and defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor to take the world title by 25 meters in 31:40 over the 10,240m course. Again he did not know where he was, because he has never been a senior world champion before. Now, he had arrived at a long-held goal.

It got better and better for Cheptegei. With Kiplimo second, Thomas Ayeko seventh and Joseph Ayeko tenth, Uganda wrapped up the teams race as well. That was another first, the first time Uganda has taken either a senior or junior gold medal. At senior level, the previous best was bronze medals in Mombasa in 2007 and Kampala last time.

Despite his burn-out, it was Cheptegei’s 30th place finish which clinched the team bronze medal. He contributed, even while out on his feet. Some of that grit no doubt helped over the twisting, turning, climbing and swooping Aarhus course.

As with all races on the day, the steep climb and headlong descent of the roof of the Moesgaard Museum played a major role in dictating the manner in which the senior men’s race was run and in determining how it finished. Cheptegei did not always look the strongest on the roof, but he was when it counted most on the final lap.

The steep, uphill start turned normal world cross-country protocol on its head. The charge off the line in the men’s race looked familiar, but the first lap was by some way the slowest 2km split of the race, which then got quicker and quicker by the lap.

Ugandan vests were always prominent in the lead pack, even when it numbered up to 30 in the early stages. Uganda started with four in the top 10 and finished the same way.

Almost from the outset, however, it was Kiplimo who was the aggressor. He pushed the pace up the roof in the second lap and soon after they entered the third lap he had pulled Cheptegei, Kamworor and Eritrea’s Aron Kifle clear.

While Rhonex Kipruto and Selemon Barega had tried to bridge that gap, by the half-way mark of the race it was clear there were only four who could win. Into the fourth lap, that was down to three as Kifle dropped off, but the Eritrean athlete was still well clear of the chasers and held that place all the way to the line, improving one position on his Kampala race.

Kamworor had raced conservatively, always shadowing every move but rarely leading himself. As the leaders entered the fourth lap, however, he appeared to be trying to assert his authority.

(03/30/2019) ⚡AMP
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World Athletics Cross Country Championships

World Athletics Cross Country Championships

Athletes from across the globe will descend on Australia for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 2021. To celebrate the one year to go mark, the local organising committee has unveiled the official course animation for the event, which is scheduled to take place on 20 March 2021. Mount Panorama is better known as the home...

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Uganda’s teen phenomenon Jacob Kiplimo ran to victory at the Cross Internacional de Italica

Uganda’s teen phenomenon Jacob Kiplimo and Kenya’s world steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech captured commanding victories at the Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce.

Held on a pleasant and dry afternoon with the temperature about 66F (19C), the men’s 9.9km event didn’t kick off particularly fast as a large pack covered the opening two kilometers in 5:50, led by Bahrain’s Albert Rop while the main favorites ran conservatively in these early stages.

The following 1.95km circuit took a faster 5:38 with eight men still in the heading group which included Rop, the Ugandan trio of Kiplimo, world 10,000m silver medallist Joshua Cheptegei and Mande Bushendich, Kenya’s Vincent Rono, Morocco’s world steeplechase silver medalist Soufiane El Bakkali and the Spanish pair of Toni Abadía and David Palacio who were fresh from respective performances of 7:47:60 an 7:54:33 over 3000m indoors last Friday in Valencia. Morocco’s 2012 Olympic 1500m bronze medalist Abdelaati Iguider dropped out during the second lap.

At halfway Abadía moved to the front and shared the lead for a while with the top Africans but shortly afterwards it was the teen phenomenon Kiplimo who injected a brisker pace which could only be followed by Cheptegei, Rop, Rono and the long-legged El Bakkali.

Kiplimo’s relentless rhythm – a frantic 5:23 for the fourth loop – soon paid off and he only had Cheptegei for company some 18 minutes into the race and they built a huge margin on Rop, Rono and El Bakkali.

Defending champion Cheptegei, who was aiming to match his fellow Ugandan Matthew Kisorio’s achievement of back-to-back titles (2008 and 2009) could only stay with Kiplimo for four minutes as his younger compatriot unleashed a devastating kick with the clock reading 22:10 to open a sizable margin on him already inside the closing lap. To the astonishment of the assembled crowd, Kiplimo effectively ended the race in a matter of seconds as Cheptegi proved to be unable to follow in his footsteps.

A stellar Kiplimo even smiled to the crowd during the last lap, his ease suggesting he still had another gear if necessary, while Rop began to threaten Cheptegei’s runner-up place way back.

The closing lap only took 5:15 for the 18-year-old leader and he romped home unopposed to claim his fourth victory of the current IAAF Cross Country Permit series and avenge his defeat from 12 months ago. Cheptegei managed to keep Rop at bay to take the runner-up spot.

“I decided to run conservatively for the first half of the race, then I changed the pace and felt great until the end,” said an all-smiles Kiplimo. The Ugandan rising star confirmed he will contest the senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Aarhus 2019 on 30 March, even though he would be young enough to defend his U20 title.

Asked about his chances of breaking the world 10,000m record on the track after his impressive 26:41 road performance in Madrid, he said: “why not? That’s a long-term goal in my career.”

(01/21/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition that is held every January in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of the more prestigious...

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Ugandans Jacob Kiplimo and Joshua Cheptegei will face off at the Cross Internacional de Itálica on Sunday

The pair are currently two of the world’s leading distance runners.

They clashed last year in this race, the victory going to Joshua Cheptegei on that occasion while Jacob Kiplimo finished runner-up barely one second behind so Sunday’s event will act as a rematch over the 9975m distance.

The 22-year-old Cheptegei looked destined for gold at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017 before fatigue set in during the closing stages, forcing him to settle for 30th place. However, he bounced back that season by earning10,000m silver at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 in a huge career best of 26:49.94.

His 2018 accolades include a brilliant 5000/10,000m double victory at the Commonwealth Games in April and more recently a world best over 15km with a stunning 41:05 performance at the Seven Hills Run in Nijmegen on 18 November.

As for Kiplimo, still just 18, he remains unbeaten this winter season having won all four of his appearances on Spanish soil: the Atapuerca, Soria and Alcobendas Cross Country permit races plus the New Year’s eve 10km race in Madrid when he clocked an impressive 26:41, albeit on an aided course. The two Ugandan aces should play a key role at World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus on 30 March and Sunday’s race will mark the season’s first round between the pair.

Mande Bushendich might well complete the podium in what would be an Ugandan clean sweep. The 21-year-old proved to be in top form in Madrid’s New Year’s Eve 10km with a 27:24 clocking to his name.

Kenya’s Vincent Rono, a creditable seventh at the Kampala World Championships and recent winner in Venta de Baños on 16 December, will also be in contention alongside Bahrain’s Albert Rop who is fresh from a victory in Amman on 5 January.

Watch out too for Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, the reigning world 3000m steeplechase silver medallist; the 23-year-old boasts an impressive 7:58:15 career best which places him in the top-ten on the all-time lists. He will be joined by his compatriot Abdelaati Iguider, the 2012 world indoor champion and Olympic bronze medallist over 1500m.

(01/19/2019) ⚡AMP
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Cross internacional de Italica

Cross internacional de Italica

The Cross Internacional de Itálica is an annual cross country running competition that is held every January in Santiponce, near Seville, Spain. Inaugurated in 1982, the race course is set in the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Italica. As one of only two Spanish competitions to hold IAAF permit meeting status, it is one of the more prestigious...

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Records set at the annual San Silvestre Vallecana 10k as Kenya’s teenager breaks Kipchoge course Record

Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo and Kenyan runner Brigid Kosgei established new men's and women's records in the annual San Silvestre Vallecana 10K race.

Kiplimo, 18, completed the course through the Vallecas neighborhood in 26:41 here on Monday, besting what was thought to be the unassailable mark of 26:54, set in 2011 by Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.

On a pleasant night with the thermometer reaching 50F (10C), the race kicked off at a frantic pace as an eight-man pack covered the opening two kilometers in 5:24, with Kiplimo and Kenya’s Solomon Boit taking charge of the rhythm. Spain’s Toni Abadía was the only non-African among them.

The in-form Ugandan then upped the tempo, averaging a terrific 2:35 over the subsequent three kilometers to reach halfway in 13:12, well on schedule to improve on the course record. By then only Ethiopia’s world cross country bronze medallist Abadi Hadis and Eritrea’s Abrar Osman managed to remain on Kiplimo’s shoulder with Uganda’s Mande Bushendich and Tanzania’s Agustino Sulle following.

The second half witnessed Kiplimo and Hadis’s magnificent display as the pair kept knocking off kilometers at a record-breaking pace. 

Ethiopian competitor Abadi Hadis finished second with a time of 26:54, while Kiplimo's countryman Mande Bushendich completed the podium.

In the women's race, Kosgei picked up her second Vallecana trophy in three years with a time of 29:54, nearly a minute faster than Gelete Burka's previous record of 30:53.

Kenya's Helen Obiri, world champion in the 5,000m, came second, just five seconds behind the winner. Tirunesh Dibada of Ethiopia, an Olympic gold medalist, had to settle for third.

A total of 42,500 people took part in the event, which features an amateur "fun run" before the professional race.

(01/01/2019) ⚡AMP
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World U20 10,000m silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo will be the man to beat at Vallecana 10k race

In the men's race, world U20 10,000m silver medallist Jacob Kiplimo will start as the man to beat. The Ugandan teenager, still 17, is unbeaten in four races this autumn season: a 10km event in Trento in October and three IAAF Cross Country Permit races in the Spanish cities of Atapuerca, Soria and Alcobendas.

Kiplimo clocked 28:17 at the Giro al Sas in Trento, his best 10km on the roads, a performance he will likely improve upon Monday in his quest for the win. However, the reigning world U20 cross country champion will face dangerous rivals including Ethiopia’s Abadi Hadis, the reigning world cross country bronze medallist and Kenya’s Benard Ngeno. Both competed at the Valencia Half Marathon in October, Hadis finishing third in 58:44 and Ngeno sixth in 59:22, massive PBs for both. Hadis, 21, also finished fourth in Atapuerca.

Watch out too for Uganda’s Mande Bushendich, a 21-year-old who improved his 10km PB to 28:01 in Durban in October. Eritrea’s Abrar Osman will also looking for a top-three spot after his recent 42:34 15km career best in Nijmegen while Kenya’s Solomon Boit, a creditable fourth (27:57.44) at the World U20 Championships over 10,000m, Ethiopia’s Mogos Tuemay, a 27:48:41 10,000m specialist and Tanzania’s Agustino Sulle, a 2:07:46 marathoner, should also fight for a top-five spot.

Spanish hopes rest on Adel Mechaal, fresh from an eighth place finish at the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg and Toni Abadía, the national record holder for the distance with a 27:48 clocking set in Laredo last March. The 28-year-old came 14th in Tilburg and will defend the third place he managed here the last two years. Javier Guerra, an accomplished road athlete with 1:01:38 and 2:08:36 half marathon and marathon credentials, will also be on show.

The race is held on a slightly downhill 10km point-to-point course and starts alongside Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium before finishing on the pitch of another football team, Rayo Vallecano, in Madrid’s southern suburbs.

Forecasters predict a mild night on Monday with temperatures ranging between 8-10C and no rain expected when the gun sounds the start of the last IAAF Label road race of 2018.

(12/29/2018) ⚡AMP
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