Jacob Kiplimo, the world record holder in the half marathon, claimed victory at the Cross Internacional de Atapuerca in Spain during the World Athletics Cross Country Tour on Sunday.
Kiplimo faced formidable competition from Ronald Kwemoi, Kenya’s world U20 1500m record-holder, who took an early lead in the race. Kiplimo steadily closed the gap and caught up with Kwemoi after the third kilometer.
As the race progressed, Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Kiplimo increased his pace during the penultimate lap, completing it in 5 minutes and 40 seconds. He created a substantial lead over his rivals. By the final lap, the 22-year-old had a commanding lead of 13 seconds ahead of Kwemoi and Burundi’s Rodrigue Kwizera.
Kiplimo crossed the finish line with an impressive time of 26 minutes, followed closely by Kwemoi at 26 minutes and 15 seconds and Kwizera at 26 minutes and 16 seconds, securing the top three spots. Another Ugandan, Leonard Chemutai, delivered a strong performance, finishing fifth with a time of 26 minutes and 48 seconds.
This event marked the second Gold standard meeting in the current season’s World Athletics Cross Country Tour.
Notably, this race was Kiplimo’s first since August, as he had to miss the World Athletics Championship due to an injury.
Kiplimo confirmed that his next competition will be at the 7 Hills Run in Nijmegen, scheduled for November 19.