Kiplimo, Chepkoech triumph in Seville
Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo and Kenya’s world steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech triumphed at the Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce, near the Spanish city of Seville on Sunday.
The 18-year old Kiplimo and his fellow countrymen and world 10,000m silver medalist Joshua Cheptegei and Mande Bushendich, Kenya’s Vincent Rono and Morocco’s world steeplechase silver medalist Soufiane El Bakkali showed good speed in the 9.9km race, the sixth leg of this season’s IAAF Cross Country Permit series,
Defending champion Cheptegei, who was aiming to match his fellow Ugandan Matthew Kisorio’s achievement of back-to-back titles (2008 and 2009) could only stay with Kiplimo for four minutes as his younger compatriot unleashed a devastating kick with the clock reading 22:10 to open a sizeable margin on him already inside the closing lap. To the astonishment of the assembled crowd, Kiplimo effectively ended the race in a matter of seconds as Cheptegi proved to be unable to follow in his footsteps.
A stellar Kiplimo even smiled to the crowd during the last lap, his ease suggesting he still had another gear if necessary, while Rop began to threaten Cheptegei’s runner-up place way back.
The closing lap only took 5:15 for the 18-year-old leader and he romped home unopposed to claim his fourth victory of the current IAAF Cross Country Permit series and avenge his defeat from 12 months ago. Cheptegei managed to keep Rop at bay to take the runner-up spot.
“I decided to run conservatively for the first half of the race, then I changed the pace and felt great until the end,” said an all-smiles Kiplimo.
The 22-year-old Cheptegei said: “I have come here after a one-week stint in Monte Gordo (Portugal); I know I’m only at about 85% at the moment but I’ll now return to Uganda and hope to be at my best for the World Cross.”
In the women’s race Kenya’s Chepkoech took command of the race. She set such a quick pace that after just one minute, only four athletes – Uganda’s Commonwealth 10,000m champion Stella Chesang who came second, Turkey’s multiple European champion Yasemin Can, Ethiopia’s Gete Alemayehu and Kenya’s Hellen Ekarake Lobun – were able to live with her rhythm.
1 Jacob Kiplimo (Uganda) 27:48
2 Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) 28:04
3 Albert Rop (Bahrain) 28:06
4 Vincent Rono (Kenya) 28:14
5 Soufiane El Bakkali (Morocco) 28:26
6 Mande Bushendich (Uganda) 28:28
1 Beatrice Chepkoech (Kenya) 28:01
2 Stella Chesang (Uganda) 28:35
3 Yasemin Can (Turkey) 29:04
4 Hellen Lobun (Kenya) 29:10
5 Gete Alemayehu (Ethiopia) 29:49
6 Trihas Gebre (Spain) 29:57