Simiu, Kandie finish second, third in men’s 10000m race at Commonwealth Games
Kenya’s wait for gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the men’s 10,000m continues, now stretching to two decades after Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo spoiled the party for his neighbours.
Daniel Simiu came close but it was not good enough, as he ended up settling for silver as compatriot Kibiwott Kandie took bronze on the the fifth day of the games in Birmingham, England on Tuesday.
Wilberforce Talel is the last Kenyan to have won the 10,000m title at the ‘Club Games’. He won the title during the 2002 event in Manchester.
Kiplimo is the fifth consecutive Ugandan to win the title.
Simiu and Kandie meanwhile took Kenya’s medal count at the Games to four, two silver and a similar number of bronze medals.
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.
Simiu and Kandie now turn their focus to next year’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, having hit the qualifying times at the Commonwealth Games.
“We had great team work but I guess Kiplimo’s good finishing kick was superior,” Simiu said. “I tried to summon the rest with two laps to go but Kandie and Zakayo had drifted back.”Simiu said he decided to hit the front with some energy left after the bell but it failed to work.
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 could not maintain the pace and was closed down after five laps, and dropped out of the race two llaps ater.
With five laps to go, the Kenyan trio made their move and Kiplimo stuck to their wings.
The lead shuffled between Simiu and Zakayo, but ultimately, the latter 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.He crossed the line in 3:40.96 ahead of Vivien Henz, who clocked 3:45.04, while Canada’s Max Davies was third in 3:45.55.
In the first heat, Kimaiyo eased to victory after timing 3:42.49 ahead of Ethiopia’s Adihana Kasaye, who clocked 3:43.06, while Poland’s Filip Rak finished third in 3:44.84.