Athletics: Kipruto makes IAAF rising stars final list

By Stephen Rutto: Wednesday, November 14th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Rhonex kipruto on his way to win men's 10000m finals at Ratina stadium, Tampere, Finland on July 1o, 2018. [Dennis Okeyo, Standard]

Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya is among five athletes listed for the IAAF male 2018 rising star, but who is he?

The world under-20 10,000m champion is a 19-year-old teen who has staged tactical runs, that include missing the 10km world record by just two seconds.

Kipruto’s stunning performance on the track, cross country and road races, especially this year, bears the hallmarks of a rising star that analysts say can only be equated to Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, who is the current world record holder in 10,000m and 5,000m.

He clocked 27:21.08 in the world under-20 and is seen as a threat to Bekele’s 10,000m world record of 26:17.53 that was set in 2005.

The 2018 season was fascinating for Kipruto, who began by winning the under-20 African cross country championships in Algeria, holding compatriot Stanley waithaka, who finished second, while Ethiopian Solomon Berihu came in third.

A month later, Kipruto wrote history by clocking the fastest 10km time ever on US soil during the UAE Healthy Kidney 10km race in New York City in April.

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The 18-year-old clocked 27:08 to obliterate the previous US all-comers mark of 27:11 set by Sammy Kipketer in New Orleans in 2002.

The fascinating New York run made him the seventh fastest ever runner on a record-eligible course.

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