Can the young Jacob Kiplimo emulate Joshua Cheptegei?
Jacob Kiplimo wins the 5000m in Ostrava | Courtesy photo

Can the young Jacob Kiplimo emulate Joshua Cheptegei?

19-year-old Jacob Kiplimo established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the 5,000m distance by outsprinting Ethiopia’s World Championship silver medalist Selemon Barega for his first big-meet victory at the Ostrava Golden Spike Championship in the Czech Republic.

With two laps left, Jacob Kiplimo came from behind and took the lead, fending off Barega, who was all alone in the front with four laps to go.

The Ethiopian caught up in the home straight and gave Kiplimo a run for his money. However, the 19-year-old managed to sprint across the finish line in 12:48.63 to win the race and set a new meeting record, while Barega reached the line in 12:49.08 to claim second place.

Victory for the 2019 World Cross Country silver medallist came in record-setting fashion as he surpassed Kenyan Stephen Cherono’s record of 12:48.81 set in 2003.

After the race, Kiplimo said: “I wanted the fast time so I kept on pushing. It was a fight in the home straight. And it was wonderful.”

Those who have closely followed Kiplimo’s career like sports journalist Mark Namanya say that he has the potential to emulate world champion Joshua Cheptegei.

In 2019, Kiplimo finished ahead of Joshua Cheptegei in the world cross country championships. Kiplimo’s time of 12:48:63 is the second-fastest time in this 5000m this year falling behind Joshua Cheptegei’s world record of 12:35.36 that he set at the Monaco Diamond League earlier this year.

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