By OKELLO ALLAN
SWITZERLAND-SHIFTMEDIA– A Ray of hope shined for Uganda as one of its long-distance runner qualified for the 5000m race Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Jacob Kiplimo will now join the other 25 athletics for the games that start this month.
Kiplimo qualified after scooping the 5000m race at the Spitzen Leichtathletik Stadion Allmend in Luzern, Switzerland beating Kenya’s Daniel Simiyu.
Kiplimo ran for 12:55:60 ahead of Kenya’s duo Daniel Simiyu who posted 12:55:88 and Boniface Kibiwott who came third with 13:06:26. The Olympics qualifying mark for the 5000m race is 13:13.50. Kiplimo joins his counterparts, Joshua Cheptegei and Oscar Chelimo who had already qualified for the men’s 5000m in Tokyo. Uganda has only three-quarter places for the race.
Kiplimo had won the 5,000m race at the same event in Ostrava last year where he posted a personal best of 12:48.63. However, this was outside the Olympic qualifying window. The world half-marathon champion also qualified for the 10000m race after posting his personal best of 26:33.93 at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting in the Czech Republic on May 19.
He will be looking for a double in the Olympic games. He joins his counterparts Joshua Cheptegei and Winnie Nanyondo who are the only other Ugandan runners who will compete in a double in Tokyo. Nanyondo is preparing for both the 800m and 1,500m races while Cheptegei is also preparing for 5000m and 10000m races.
Though the team was shattered with news of one of the coaches testing positive for Covid 19 upon arrival, the hopes are high that all is set for Uganda to shine.
A team of swimmers, boxers, weight lifters, runners among others are already in Japan ahead of the games.