Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo leads charge for glory at World Cross Country Championships


Ugandan star Jacob Kiplimo is gearing up for another shot at glory as he sets his sights on defending his title at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Belgrade.

With the global event scheduled to take place on 30th March 2024 in Friendship Park, at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, anticipation is building as Kiplimo leads the list of competitors in the senior men’s category.

Born in November 2000, Kiplimo hails from the Sebei people and spent his formative years in Bukwo on Mount Elgon, where he acclimatized to high-altitude training.

His meteoric rise in the world of athletics began in 2016 when, at the tender age of 15, he made history as Uganda’s youngest Olympian, competing in the 5000m at the Rio Games.

A year later, Kiplimo stamped his authority on the global stage by clinching the U20 title at the World Cross Country Championships held in Kampala, Uganda.

Since then, his career trajectory has been nothing short of remarkable, marked by a string of impressive achievements.

In 2020, Kiplimo announced his arrival in the senior ranks by capturing the world half marathon title in Gdynia.

His dominance in the discipline was further solidified in 2021 when he set a world record for the half marathon distance, clocking an astonishing 57:31 in Lisbon—a record that remains unbroken to this day.

A versatile athlete, Kiplimo has also excelled on the track, clinching world and Olympic bronze medals over 10,000m. His prowess was on full display at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where he clinched gold in both the 5000m and 10,000m events.

Notably, Kiplimo holds the Ugandan 3000m record at 7:26.64, and his impressive personal bests of 12:41.73 for 5000m and 26:33.93 for 10,000m rank him among the world’s elite distance runners.

“My preparations are going well. I am in Kapchorwa, where I’m training with my teammates. There’s a group of about 10-12 of us staying together at our new training camp,” jacok kiplimo on their preparations.

However, it was at the 2023 World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst where Kiplimo etched his name in the annals of athletics history, clinching his first senior global title.

Now, as he prepares to defend his crown in Belgrade, Kiplimo views the upcoming championships as a crucial stepping stone towards further success, including a potential triumph at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

In a recent interview, Kiplimo expressed satisfaction with his preparations for the 2024 season, highlighting his training regimen at the Kapchorwa training camp alongside his teammates.

With his sights set on both the World Cross Country Championships and the Paris Olympics, Kiplimo remains focused on his competitive goals for the year ahead.

Reflecting on his journey in athletics, Kiplimo credited his coaches and support staff for their instrumental role in his development.

From his early mentors in Uganda to his current management team in Italy, Kiplimo emphasized the importance of guidance and support in his athletic journey.

Despite his accolades and global success, Kiplimo remains grounded, acknowledging the importance of being a role model for young athletes in Uganda.

“I enjoy being a world-class athlete and I’m happy when people talk about me. I like being a role model for young Ugandan athletes, like Stephen Kiprotich (2012 Olympic marathon champion) was for me. It’s good for my people and my country,” jacob kiplimo.

Drawing inspiration from past champions like Stephen Kiprotich, Kiplimo strives to inspire the next generation of Ugandan athletes to dream big and reach for the stars.

As the countdown to the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Belgrade continues, all eyes will be on Jacob Kiplimo as he aims to once again etch his name in the annals of athletics history.

With determination and talent on his side, Kiplimo stands poised to leave an indelible mark on the sport for years to come.

PHOTO: World Athletics

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