Defending champion Jacob Kiplimo names biggest threat ahead of World X-country Championships

ATHLETICS Defending champion Jacob Kiplimo names biggest threat ahead of World X-country Championships

Abigael Wafula 05:50 - 28.03.2024

Reigning World Cross Country champion Jacob Kiplimo has disclosed his greatest challenger at the global bonanza scheduled for Saturday as he fired warning shots at his opponents.

Defending champion Jacob Kiplimo has named his greatest challenger while firing warning shots at his competitors ahead of a grand return to the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia this weekend.

Kiplimo won last year’s edition in style and he hopes to replicate the same performance but one person stands in his way to victory. Despite that, the Ugandan remains focused on the top prize, hoping to make a mark on the global stage in the senior race for the second time running.

He will be looking to be a nightmare to the Kenyan contingent that includes the World Half Marathon champion Sabastian Sawe and junior cross-country champion Ishmael Kipkurui.

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“My preparations are going well. I am in Kapchorwa, where I’m training with my teammates. There’s a group of about 10-12 of us staying together at our new training camp. My biggest sporting rival is my compatriot and national team member Joshua Cheptegei,” Kiplimo said in an interview with World Athletics.

Last season, Kiplimo was forced to miss out on the World Championships in Budapest due to an injury and he explained what was going through his head at the time.

“When I’m struggling with an injury, my head starts to get stressed. So I’ll try to seek out advice from other people – that usually gives me a lot of motivation to get over the injury,” he said.

Kiplimo added that he enjoys being a world class athlete and he is always happy to be an inspiration to young athletes back in Uganda.

“I enjoy being a world-class athlete and I'm happy when people talk about me. I like being a role model for young Ugandan athletes, like Stephen Kiprotich (2012 Olympic marathon champion) was for me. It's good for my people and my country,” he added.