Kiplimo wins epic 3000m showdown in Rome Diamond League

Uganda’s athletics sensation Jacob Kiplimo proved that his recent great form is showing no signs of slowing down after he won the men’s 3000m race at the 2020 Golden Gala Pietro Mennea, Rome’s Diamond League track and field meeting on Thursday.

In a race billed as “The Battle of The Jacobs”, between the two 19-year-old sensations Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Norway’s 1500m European record holder and Uganda’s World Cross Country Championships silver medallist, both men faced off in an exciting 100m sprint finish. The Norwegian was clearly in the lead heading towards the line but Kiplimo caught him and pulled clear at the 60m mark to win in a time of 7.26.64. The time is a national record for Uganda, World lead and Diamond League record. It is also the fastest time since 2007.

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Ingebrigsten finished second in 7:27.05, also a new Norwegian national record while Stewart McSweyn of Australia placed third with 7:28.02 earning a new Australian and Oceania record.

The only runners who have gone quicker at 3000m now are Daniel Komen with the world record of 7:20.67, Hicham El Guerrouj, Ali Saidi-Sief, Haile Gebrselassie, Noureddine Morceli, Kenenisa Bekele and Mohammed Mourhit.

The latter holds the European record after running 7:26.62 while representing Belgium, but some will now consider Ingebrigtsen the real record-holder due to Mourhit’s career being blighted by a drugs ban for taking EPO.

Kiplimo’s victory comes just a week after he upstaged Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega to win the 5000m race at the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic with a personal best time of 12:48.63.

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World record holder for the 5000m Joshua Cheptegei hailed his countryman.

“Huge congratulations to my colleague Jacob Kiplimo upon running the 6th fastest all-time over 3000m in Rome with a time of 7:26, running a world lead, national record, the future is indeed bright. Let’s carry this momentum unto next year’s Olympic games,” Cheptegei said.

Elsewhere, South Africa’s Akani Simbine broke the 10-second barrier as he raced to victory in the men’s 100m in 9.96 seconds ahead of Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cisse (10.04) and Filippo Tortu of Italy (10.9).

In the women’s 100m race, another Ivorian, Marie-Josee Ta Lou placed third with a season’s best 11.14 seconds. The race was won by Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah who ran a world-leading 10.85 seconds while American Aleia Hobbs finished second in 11.12 seconds.

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