Jacob Kiplimo takes the U20 men’s title, winning Uganda’s first ever gold medal in World Cross history. #iaafkampala2017
— IAAF (@iaaforg) March 26, 2017
Jacob Kiplimo took the lead in the 2nd of four laps, and held on to win Uganda a first ever gold at the World Championships on Sunday in Kampala.
“Yes, yes, yes….I always thought I could win. It was a very good race. When I decided to break away going into the last lap, I knew I was going to win,”said Kiplimo.
Kiplimo covered the 8km course in 22:40, ending the Kenyan and Ethiopian dominance of the event to win the first global title of his career.
Ethiopia’s Amdework Walelegn came through strongly on the final lap to take silver while Kenya’s Richard Kimunyan Yator takes bronze.
Uganda has a very strong record in the junior events of the World Cross Country championships, and have now bagged a stunning 15 medals in the last 15 editions.
The team however lost out on a team medal. Ethiopia take gold with 17 points ahead of Kenya (27) and Eritrea (55). Uganda misses out on bronze by 1 point.
— iaafkampala2017 (@iaafkampala2017) March 26, 2017
Congratulations Kiplimo Jacob! Congratulations Team Uganda.Thank you for raising our flag high. You did well today. We’re very proud of you. pic.twitter.com/3AJyEM9rDV
— Janet K Museveni (@JanetMuseveni) March 26, 2017
Uganda has a very strong record in the junior events of the World Cross Country championships, having bagged a stunning 14 medals in the last 14 editions.
Spurred on by Boniface Kiprop, Uganda won their first team junior medal in 2000, which was followed by seven more victories for the Under-20 runners.
Kiprop himself bagged individual bronze in 2002, which he followed up with silvers in 2003 and 2004.
Since 2000, Uganda has bagged 5 junior men’s individual medals, 8 junior men’s and 1 junior women team medals. The senior men have bagged four medals, while the women 1.
Uganda’s Juniors will this time be led by Jacob Kiplimo, world junior 10,000m bronze medalist last year. As a 15-year-old, Kiplimo was the country’s youngest athlete at the Olympics last year where he finished 11th in his heat.