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Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo wins World XC in masterclass performance

After finishing second to his compatriot in 2019, Kiplimo gets a taste of gold

On Saturday, the world 5K record holder, Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda, added a third major championship title to his resume, waving his arms to celebrate in the final stages of the men’s 10K at the 2023 World XC Championships in Bathurst, Australia.

Kiplimo and his compatriot, Joshua Cheptegei, controlled the pace at the front from the early stages until one lap to go. All three medallists from the 2019 World XC Championships in Denmark were in contention, with defending champion Cheptegei leading Kiplimo, two-time champion Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Berihu Aregawi with 1K left.

The 22-year-old Kiplimo timed his kick to perfection, making a move on the final uphill section, 800m from the finish, winning in a time of 29:17 ahead of Aregawi (29:26). Cheptegei, who is the world 5,000m and 10,000m record holder, held off a surging Kamworor for bronze in 29:37.

In the last two years, Kiplimo has been tough to beat. He set the world record for the half-marathon at the Lisbon Half in 2021 and won the 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, U.K.

Despite missing out on an individual medal, Kamworor led Kenya to team gold, their first senior men’s team title in their last three appearances. Ethiopia took silver, and Uganda bronze.

The three East African nations have filled the podium in the senior men’s team competition for the last three editions of World XC, just in a different order. 

Team Canada

Team Canada’s men’s team improved on their team finish by six spots from 2019, placing 10th, despite missing national champion Connor Black and 2021 U Sports XC champion Mitch Ubene, who were both listed as a “did not start (DNS),” due to the flu.

Canadian steeplechaser John Gay led the way for the men, finishing 44th overall in 32:09. 2022 U Sports XC champion Max Turek was the second Canadian to cross the finish line, 21 seconds behind Gay for 53rd place.  

You can find a full recap of the wild women’s race here.

For full results from the 2023 World Cross-Country Championships in Bathurst, view here.