Athlete Spotlight: Jacob Kiplimo

Athlete Spotlight: Jacob Kiplimo

January 5, 2019 0 By jegmar

On New Year’s Eve, Jacob Kiplimo became the final record breaker of 2018 by clocking a 26:41 10K in Madrid. The downhill nature of the San Silvestre Vallecana course means it won’t be ratified by the IAAF, but there’s still the undeniable fact that this is the fastest 10 kilometres ever run. Completing the race with an average pace of 4:18/mile (2:40/km), Kiplimo is one of the sport’s rising stars.


The Ugandan youngster burst onto the scene in 2016, running a 13:24 5000m in Italy to sneak inside the Rio Olympic qualifying standards. He then competed at the 2016 World U20 Championships, claiming the 10000m bronze medal and a personal best of 27:26. The following month, aged 15, he became his country’s youngest ever Olympian, but disappointingly failed to advance to the final – finishing 11th in his heat.


The following year, Kiplimo sprung a dominant breakthrough performance to win the World U20 Cross Country Championships. Moving on to the IAAF World Championships in London, he competed in the 5000m, but was once again unsuccessful in qualifying for the final. His highlight on the track in 2017 came at the Prefontaine Classic, where he clocked a 5000m personal best of 13:13.


In early 2018, Kiplimo came close to his first senior championships medal, finishing 4th in the Commonwealth Games 10000m, while his compatriot Joshua Cheptegei took the win. Still only 17 years old, he went on to compete at the U20 World Championships once more, finishing 6th in the 5000m and taking home the silver medal in the 10000m.
He came into the San Silvestre Vallecana unbeaten in his previous four races, but with a 10K road PB of just 28:17. 18 year old Kiplimo proved to look comfortable in taking more than 90 seconds off his best and pushing 58:44 half marathoner, Abadi Hadis into second place.


Kiplimo will be looking to extend his unbeaten streak at the Seville International Cross Country race later this month and carry it through to the World Cross Country Championships in March. Despite still being eligible for the U20 race, Kiplimo has spoken about wanting to race fellow Ugandan, Joshua Cheptegei, and go for the 1-2 in the senior race. Those championships will take place in Aarhus, Denmark on March 30th.

Career Highlights

May ‘16: 13:24.40 5000m (Olympic QT)
Jun ‘16: World U20 Championships 10000m 🥉 – 27:26.68
Jul ‘16: Rio Olympic Games 5000m – 11th in Heat
Mar ‘17: World U20 Cross Country Championships 🥇
May ‘17: 13:13.64 5000m @ Prefontaine Classic
Aug ‘17: World Championships 5000m – 9th in Heat
Apr ‘18: Commonwealth Games 10000m – 4th
Jul ‘18: World U20 Championships 10000m 🥈 & 5000m 6th

Current Streak

Oct ‘18: Trento Giro al Sas 10K 🥇
Nov ‘18: Cross Internacional de Atapuerca 🥇
Nov ‘18: Cross Internacional de Soria 🥇
Nov ‘18: Cross Internacional de la Constitución 🥇
Dec ‘18: San Silvestre Vallecana 10K 🥇 (26:41 WR)