By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
Uganda’s long distance runner Jacob Kiplimo on Saturday came atop a strong Kenyan opposition during the men’s 5,000m race of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Kiplimo also beat Kenyan opposition to clinch the 10,000m title earlier this week, and now flies back to Kampala as a double Commonwealth Games champion. He relieves country mate Joshua Cheptegei of the same titles.
Kenyans Nicholas Kimeli clinched silver while Jacob Krop earned bronze. The duo had employed formidable teamwork in the race, but they were beaten by Kiplimo in the final dash with a sprint finish.
He edged them out 10 metres to the finish line, clinching the title in 13:08.08 in his first 5,000m race of the season. Kimeli was second in 13:08.19 while Krop earned bronze in 13:08.48.
With five laps to go, the Kenyan trip of Kimeli, Krop and Cornelius Kemboi took charge of the race as they sought an early dominance. With four to go, Kimeli moved up top and signalled Krop to follow in his tail, with Kemboi remaining third.
With three to go, Kemboi was dropped and Kiplimo joined the leading duo in third and the gap between the first and chasing group began to grow.
At the bell, Kimeli pressed down the gas injecting an addition of pace and Krop was right behind him, watching out for Kiplimo’s run from the outside.
At the home stretch, it was now every man for himself and Kiplimo used the opportunity to move to the outside and injected some pace of his own. They were side by side with Kimeli, eyes gauged out, each digging deep into their energy reserves.
At the end, it was Kiplimo who would have the best finishing kick as he completed his double in Birmingham.