✳ Kiplimo 1st
✳ Cheptegei 4th
1. $30,000 (Sh111million)
Gdynia, Poland | THE INDEPENDENT & XINHUA | Nineteen-year-old Ugandan long distance sensation Jacob Kiplimo stunned a strong field to win the World Half-Marathon Athletics Championship in Gdynia, Poland on his debut.
Kiplimo won in a championship record 58:49, with compatriot Joshua Cheptegei coming in fourth. Uganda took team Gold as well in the 21.1km competition on Saturday.
Earlier, Ugandan women came in fourth, while the men’s team took bronze.
Kenyan Kibiwott Kandie finished second, with five seconds behind the winner, while Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn took third place.
“I feel great, it was my first time at the World Half Marathon Championships and I won. It is hard to explain because I am full of emotion. Unbelievable. The weather was really good. I’m so grateful for everyone who has supported me,” said Kiplimo just after the competition in an interview for World Athletics.
For Kiplimo it was a massive win as no Ugandan athlete had ever won an individual medal in 23 previous editions of the event. The event turned out to be special, with the first 10 athletes breaking 60 minutes, the first time that ever happened at the event.
Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir was the best in the women’s competition. She broke the women’s world record with the result of 1:05.16. Melat Yisak Kejeta from Germany came second and the Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw also stood on the podium.
“It’s unbelievable. My goal was to win this race. I did not expect that I would beat the world record, but I realized that it could happen when we passed 20km. It was a little bit windy, but the course was good for me”, claimed Jepchirchir.
This competition was scheduled to be played on March 29 but was moved to October due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the mass run accompanying the competition of professionals, to which over 27,000 people applied, was held virtually.
The next edition of the World Athletics Half-Marathon Championship will be held in Yangzhou, China. The competition is scheduled for March 2022.