Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo wins 10,000m gold at Commonwealth Games

Kenya's Daniel Ebenyo, right, embraces Uganda's Jacob Kiplimo after the men's 10,000m final during the athletics in the Alexander Stadium at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. Kiplimo won the gold and Ebenyo the silver. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Ugandan long-distance runner Jacob Kiplimo clinched the biggest title of his career so far after winning the men’s 10,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Kiplimo won the race in a season’s best time of 27:09.19 which was also a Games record.

Kenya’s Daniel Ebenyo, right, embraces Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo after the men’s 10,000m final during the athletics in the Alexander Stadium at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. /CFP

The 21-year-old adds the gold to his bronze medals over the distance won at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and last month’s World Athletics Championships.

Kiplimo finished fourth in the same race four years ago at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Kenyan duo Daniel Ebenyo and Kibiwott Kandie came second and third, respectively, in times of 27:11.26 and 27:20.34, both personal bests.

Meanwhile, world 10,000m champion Joshua Cheptegei will not defend his 5,000m title at this year’s Games due to an undisclosed illness and a need to rest after competing at the recently-concluded World Athletics Championships.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Cheptegei said his exertions in Oregon and the illness, which derailed his training program, left him with no alternative and he wished not to make the situation worse by attempting to compete.

“Since the 10,000m gold achievement at the Worlds, my body has demanded and requires some rest and recovery if I am to embark on future prospects and plans including the World Cross Country Championships early next year and World Athletics Championships in athletics again later in the summer next year,” the statement read.

Gold medalist Joshua Cheptegei, of Uganda, stands on the podium during a medal ceremony at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon. /AP

“I’m really sad to have withdrawn from the (Commonwealth) Games. I was really looking forward to defending my title; especially at the 5,000m event.”

Cheptegei won 10,000m gold at the world championships in Oregon but failed to capture the long-distance double after finishing a disappointing ninth place in the 5,000m.

The 25-year-old, who burst onto the scene with his stunning double victory in both the 5,000m and 10,000m during the 2018 Games in Australia, also holds the world records in both distances.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)