Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo used a devastating late kick to win the men’s 10,000m gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Tuesday evening, stepping up in the absence of world champion Joshua Cheptegei to maintain the East African country’s domination of the event.
Kiplimo, the Olympic and world bronze medallist, was left alone to face the three man Kenyan threat of Kibiwott Kandie, Daniel Simiu Ebenyo and Edward Zakayo Pingua after Ugandan world record holder and defending champion opted out to better prepare for the remaining Diamond League races.
The Kenyans controlled the pace through much of the race until Kiplimo and Ebenyo broke free of the pack to reduce the battle for gold to a two-man fight with two laps to run.
Kiplimo found another gear after the final bend, pulled away from Ebenyo hands raised with enough energy to dance in delight as he crossed the line to win gold in a Games record time of 27:09:19.
“I think for me winning this Commonwealth Games title was everything, the most important thing for me this season,” said Kiplimo after winning the title. “But I still have a lot of things to do in the future at the Olympics and world championships.”
Kiplimo said he took inspiration from being in the crowd when compatriot Victor Kiplangat won the men’s marathon on Saturday.
“It was great seeing my brother from my country winning the marathon, that was fantastic because when I was there [the response from the crowd] was amazing, a big influence.”
Another Kenyan, Edward Zakayo Pingua finished fourth with 27:39:03 while South Africa’s Adriaan Wildschutt clocked 27:41:04 to finish in fifth position.
With Kiplimo’s superb victory, Uganda have now won the men’s 10,000m at every Commonwealth Games since 2006.
Boniface Kiprop took gold in Melbourne (2006), Moses Kipsiro won gold in New Delhi (2010) and in Glasgow (2014) while Joshua Cheptegei claim the gold in the Gold Coast (2018).