Ugandan cross-country champion Jacob Kiplimo made a triumphant return to racing at the NN Zevenheuvelenloop in Nijmegen on Sunday, matching the world best 15km time with a stunning performance. After being sidelined with an injury, Kiplimo won the Cross Country Tour Gold meeting in Atapuerca and continued his success in Nijmegen, equaling the world best time set by fellow countryman Joshua Cheptegei five years ago.
Throughout the race, Kiplimo ran at a conservative pace, taking into account the challenging 3.5km to 5km incline. Despite starting slower than Cheptegei’s split, Kiplimo took the lead and extended it to 24 seconds at 8km before crossing the 10km checkpoint at 27:49, matching Cheptegei’s split time. Kiplimo fluctuated slightly above and below the course record pace but ultimately finished with a blazing final kilometer of 2:31, securing the world-record time of 41:05. His compatriot Rogers Kibet held on to second place with a time of 42:44, making it a thrilling finish for Uganda.
On the women’s side, world steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech crossed the finish line in an impressive time of 47:12, winning comfortably over Israel’s Lonah Salpeter who finished second in 47:55. Stella Chesang from Kenya finished third in 48:01 while Isobel Batt-Doyle from Australia finished fourth in 48:20 and Charlotte Purdue from Britain came fifth with a time of