Sao Paulo – Ugandan runner Jacob Kiplimo was closing in on winning the 95th San Silvestre de Sao Paulo Road Race in Brazil on Tuesday and setting a new record in the process. But as he approached the finish line, Kiplimo, 19, raised his arms a tad early in celebration. Moments later, Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie passed him to finish first by just inches.
So instead, Kandie ended up being the one who set the new race record, which was previously held by Paul Tergat.
Kandie became the first runner to break the 43-minute mark in the 15-kilometer race as he finished with a time of 42:59, according to NBC Sports. The Kenyan runner finished just ahead of Kiplimo, whose final time was 43:00.
Fellow Kenyan Titus Ekiru took third.
Without the premature celebration, Kiplimo, who represented Uganda in the 2016 Rio Olympics, likely wouldn’t have lost a second on his time.
This is not the first time Kiplimo has been involved in a record-breaking endeavor. On New Year’s Eve of 2018, he won the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid with a race record time of 26:41. That beat Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record.
This win is Kandie’s third major road race victory of 2019. He posted a time of 59:31 in a half marathon in Lille and earned a time of 27:56 in a 10K race in Casablanca earlier in the year.
On a triumphant day for Kenyans, Brigid Kosgei easily won the women’s race, breaking away early from the pack to finish in 48.54 — only one of three women to finish the event in under 50 minutes.
Kosgei’s compatriot Jemina Sumgong set the record of 48.35 in 2016.
Sheila Chelangat, another Kenyan, took second, more than a minute behind Kosgei, with Ethiopia’s Tisadik Alem Nigus in third.
More than 35,000 runners took part in the historic race, which has been run since 1924, many of them in fancy dress.
Additional reporting by AFP