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Kiplimo wins World Half-Marathon Championships, Cheptegei disappointed

It was gold for Uganda, but not the Ugandan we expected

Photo by: Instagram/jacob_kiplimo

Jacob Kiplimo took his first global gold at the senior level on Saturday morning at the World Half-Marathon Championships in Gdynia. His winning time is a new Ugandan national record of 58:48 and a new U20 world record (as he’s only 19). All eyes were on Joshua Cheptegei in Poland today, but the win wasn’t to be. Despite the hype and his stunning 10,000m world record under two weeks ago, Cheptegei faltered, finishing fourth in today’s race. Second place went to Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya in 58:54 and third place to Amedework Walelegn of Ethiopia in 59:08. 

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The race started out extremely slowly as the frontrunners clicked off kilometres at nearly 15-minute 5K pace (shockingly slow for this calibre of race). Compared to the women’s event, which was an honest effort and hard run, the men played a chess game. But by kilometre 15, the men’s pace picked up drastically, fast enough to bring the winner to a 58-minute finishing time. 

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Ultimately, 10 men would run under 60:00, making it a huge negative split and one of the fastest en-masse half-marathon finishes in history. There were 13 national records and well over 30 personal bests run. This is certainly a fast course and the weather was perfect. 

Full results can be found here