NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 – Daniel Simiu and Kibiwott Kandie clinched silver and bronze in the men’s 10,000m taking Kenya’s medal count at the Commonwealth Games to four, as Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo clinched the title.
In the absence of fellow countryman and defending champion Joshua Cheptegei, Kiplimo injected an immense burst of pace at the home stretch to win the crown in a new Games Record time of 27:09.19.
Simiu finished second for silver in a new lifetime best time of 27:11.26 while Kandie came home third in 27:20.34, also a new personal best for him.
Edward Zakayo, the 5,000m bronze medalist from the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia, finished fourth, timing 27:39.03.
With a lean field of nine athletes, competition was narrowed down to the Kenyan trio and the Ugandan, despite Englishman Sam Atkin and Scot Andrew Butchart playing the role of early pacemakers.
At the end, Atkin couldn’t maintain the pace and was closed down after five laps, and dropped out of the race two later.
With five to go, the Kenyan trio made their move and Kiplimo stuck to their wings. The lead had been shuffling between Simiu and Zakayo, but ultimately, the latter was dropped leaving the battle to Kandie, Simiu and Kiplimo.
With two laps to go, the Ugandan took charge of the race and by now, Kandie was slowly dropping away leaving the race to a two horse race.
At the bell, there was a considerate gap between second and third. It was now between Kiplimo, the World Half Marathon record holder and Simiu. The Kenyan made a move trying to inject the pace, but Kiplimo didn’t allow the gap to grow.
At the backstraight the Ugandan made his move, slowly gliding away and putting on the afterburners, Simiu failing to respond.
He went on to defend the title won by Cheptegei, who had pulled out of the Games citing fatigue from the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, just two weeks ago.