Kiplimo bags Gold on return while Chelangat settles for Silver in Spain


By Martin Mugambi 
Jacob Kiplimo covered his return from injury in Gold at the Cross de Atapuerca, this season’s second World Athletics Cross Country Tour Gold fixture took place on Sunday 29th October, in Spain.

On a cold afternoon, the Ugandan finished first past fellow East Africans Ronald Kwemoi and Rodrgue Kwizera. Kiplimo, the reigning world cross country champion, had been sidelined by a hamstring injury that spit him out of the world Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary this year.

The 9,000m race saw Kenyan runner Ronald Kwemoi and local favorite Dani Arce attempt to dictate the pace, initially taking the lead against the group that included Kiplimo.

However, Jacob Kiplimo, not one to be deterred, quickly turned the tide in his favor, catching up with Arce by the end of the first lap.

Kiplimo and Kwemoi then surged ahead, with the occasional presence of Burundi’s Rodrigue Kwizera. Halfway through the race, Jacob Kiplimo unleashed a powerful surge that left his rivals in the mad with his dominant change of pace.

World half marathon record holder Jacob Kiplimo emerged the best on the day crossing the finish line with a remarkable time of 26:00, maintaining a commanding lead of 15 seconds over his closest competitors, Kwemoi and Kwizera, who engaged in a thrilling sprint battle for the remaining podium spots.

The Kenyan, Kwemoi secured second place, and Burundi’s Kwizera settled for bronze. Loenard Chemutai who was the other Ugandan in the race finished closely in 5th with an impressive 26:48.

In the women’s 8,000m Uganda’s lone participant Sarah Chelangat who is the national record holder over the 5,000m distance delivered a strong performance.

However, it was the Kenyan world cross country champion, Beatrice Chebet, who once again claimed victory, repeating her previous year’s success.

Chebet at the finish line.

Chebet dominated the race from start to finish, crossing the line with a stellar time of 25:20. Chelangat secured silver with a commendable 25:34, while another Kenyan Edinah Jebitok followed closely in third at 25:39 to complete the sandwich.

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