By Nganda Kizito
Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo has won the men’s 5000 metres event at the Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic. This was the 59th edition of the event, that Kiplimo won in 12:48.63, continuing to fly Uganda’s flag high on the global athletics scene.
Just last month, Kiplimo’s compatriot, Joshua Cheptegei set a new world record in the 5000 metres, when he won the IAAF Diamond League race in Monaco 12:35.36. This points to the strong field of distance runners, Uganda is lining up, and clearly should give the nation an opportunity to dominate.
Kiplimo, who first made headlines in 2017 during the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, that Uganda hosted, when he won the junior’s race, enjoyed an impressive finish in Ostrava, when he edged out Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega to first place.
It was a good bounce back by the youngster, who missed the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, last year, because of injury. Had he been fit then, Kiplimo was expected to do well there. For many observers, Kiplimo is seen as a huge prospect, that is highly fancied to make his mark at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Don Rukare, the National Council of Sports chairman noted with delight, the improvement Uganda’s distance runners have made in recent years. He said: “There is no doubt that they are working very hard at their races, which is why we are seeing them win more frequently in international meets than anytime before.”
In addition, Rukare said that with adequate preparation, in which proper travel arrangements were made for the athletes, it is clear among other things, why Kiplimo has done well in Ostrava. That said, female athlete Winnie Nanyondo continued to disappoint.
Following her eighth place finish in Monaco last month, she finished ninth in Ostrava in her 1500 metres race. At the World Championships last year, Nanyondo finished fourth in the 800 metres. But as things stand now, she has not done well in her recent new races, which should prompt her to step up, if she is to realise global acclaim again.