Jacob Kiplimo yet again rewrote half marathon records on Saturday morning as he made his debut at the star-studded Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in Dubai, UAE.
Kiplimo continued his electrifying run of form by recording a course record 57:56 on the flat and fast course. This is also a personal best of the season as well the best national time of 2022.
This was the 21-year-old, third win in a row in all competitions including a world record 57:31 finish at the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon.
Kiplimo kept his competitors at bay throughout the final stages of the race, skillfully maintaining a clear gap whenever the chasing pack looked to close the gap.
At the 10km mark Kenyans Rodgers Kwemoi a bronze medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Abel Kipchumba who narrowly lost to Kiplimo in Lisbon, unsuccessfully combined with a few others in an attempt to rein in Kiplimo’s dominance.
The Kenyans were on the back foot almost immediately as the initial tactical splits by Team Uganda put Kiplimo firmly in control.
After 15 kilometers, Kwemoi improved marginally but it was too little too late. At that point, the Kenyan duo was once again experiencing an all too familiar sinking feeling as hopes of a victory vanished.
Kwemoi settled for silver with a time of 58:30 while the bronze was claimed by Renju Kannur who clocked 58:36.
Kipchumba finished a distant eighth with a rather disappointing time of 59:47 just ahead of Tanzania’s Simbu.
Uganda’s Peter Maru deserves an honorable mention for his excellent teamwork as a pacesetter to put Kiplimo on the path to victory as well as Isaac Kibet who ran alongside Kiplimo for much of the race.
Though not among the top 10, Kibet finished after pitching an exciting home straight sprint to shake off competition from his close rival.
Ethiopia’s Girmawit Gebru was the winner of the women’s category after clocking 1:04.14 ahead of Kenya’s Hellen Obiri who came home in 1:04.22.