Long distance runner Jacob Kiplimo has scooped a second gold medal at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK. He outpaced two Kenyan athletes to lead the 5000 metre race in style.
In the absence of Joshua Cheptegei, the much-fancied distances enigma, Kiplimo entered the highly competitive race as a lone ranger and produced a magical performance with a top-class finish.
He beat competition from a much organized Kenyan duo that had employed formidable teamwork to grab both gold and silver, showcasing a smart stretch in the last 20-metre to jeopardize their plan.
He won the race in a season’s best time of 13:08.08 while Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli finished second in 13:08.19 and his partner Jacob Krop finished third in 13:08.48.
In front of tens of thousands that stormed Alexandria stadium to catch a glimpse of the action as the Commonwealth Games get closer to their end, Kenya’s Jacob Kiprop and Cornelius Kemboi took the lead, setting the pace for their compatriot Nicholas Kipkorir Kimeli who later joined them as Kiplimo looked on from a distance.
When the race approached the 7th lap, Uganda’s Kiplimo grabbed the fourth position but Kenya’s Kimeli had already joined his two compatriots to dominate the leading medal bracket positions. The Kenyan trio bossed the race until the last two laps when Kemboi started fading off and Kiplimo overtook him to enter the medal mix, but the Kenyan pair still looked extraordinary.
Towards the last 20-metre of the race, it became extremely hotter, when Kimeli pressed down and Krop was right behind him fighting hard to stop Kiplimo who was using the outside lane to overtake them.
While the pair ignited sprints, Kiplimo equally injected the same pace, cutting from the outside lane as every man was on his own, but in the end, Kiplimo final finishing kick to the finishing line was unmatched.
He becomes the third Ugandan athlete to complete a double gold over the two distances (10,000m and 5,000m) with the first being Moses Kipsiro in New Delhi back in 2010, and later Joshua Cheptegei in Gold Coast, Australia.
The gold medal will now stretch Uganda’s medal tally to five, three gold and two bronze medals so far with two days to the end of the games.
Meanwhile, before his race, middle distances runner Halima Nakaayi fell to a strong field and finished last in the women’s 800-meter final. She posted 2:01.17 while the race winner Mary Moraa from Kenya posted 1:57.07.
Earlier, female boxer Teddy Nakimuli ended Uganda’s boxing journey at the games when she lost to Northern Ireland’s Carly Mc Naul by unanimous decision 5-0 over the light-flyweight category.
Mc Naul bossed the opening two rounds against Nakimuli who was having her first fight of the Games at the semi-final stage, although Nakimuli improved in the final round to make it a contest, she was not good enough to match Naul and thus lost the bout.
The 20-year-old will now leave the games in style having bagged a bronze medal with just one fight which resulted in a loss. Earlier she earned a bye in the quarter-final after her opponent failed to make weight.