Kiplimo, Cheptegei chase multiple World Cross Country titles

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David GOMBE

Reigning World Cross Country champion Jacob Kiplimo will be aiming to defend his title in Belgrade on Saturday, Morning.

Kiplimo dethroned his compatriot Joshua Cheptegei last year in Bathurst.

The Ugandan will return to the global competition after an injury that kept him out of last year’s World Championships in Budapest.

On Saturday, Kiplimo will be against a strong line up that has 2019 champion and fellow countryman Cheptegei.

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Cheptegei, who recently clocked 26:53 over 10km in Laredo to secure a ticket over 10000m to Paris Olympics will be motivated to reclaim the senior title he won in 2019.

Ethiopian Berihu Aregawi who was the 2023 runner up will be seeking to become the first Ethiopian to clinch the title since 2011.

The World 5k record holder started his 2024 campaign with a convincing win at the Cross Country Tour Gold meeting in Elgoibar.

The other challengers will be Ethiopia’s Dinkalem Ayele, who recently won the Lisbon Half Marathon; African 10,000m silver medallist Chimdessa Debele, who was 11th in Bathurst; Ethiopian trials winner Boki Diriba, who took U20 bronze in Bathurst last year; and Tadese Worku, the 2019 world U20 cross country silver medallist and 2021 world U20 3000m champion.

Meanwhile, should Kiplimo or Cheptegei win the title on Saturday, they will join the likes of Kenenisa Bekele, Paul Tergat and Geoffrey Kamworor as a multiple world cross winner.

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