The bell goes and it is clearly a Ugandan one-two with a possibility of 1-2-3 in the picture if the third runner in the famous gold and red strip can hold off the charging Kenyans and Ethiopians.
Such is the scenario Ugandans have watched for decades only that it has always happened for the other two countries for whom distance running is a staple food.
Kiplimo and Cheptegei look primed to shower such joy on Ugandans but they can only complement each other when they line up for the same event, distance running coach Peter Chelangat has said.
Chelangat, who trains wunderkind Kiplimo – as well as half a dozen other distance runners – said the teenager would be one of the best team mates double world record holder in 5000m and 10000m Cheptegei can have in a championship event like the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“Likely they will be competing together and this will be so good for Uganda for both of them are great athletes,” said Chelangat, who trains the teenage great alongside Italian coach Iacopo Brasi.
While Kiplimo’s records show he is better suited for road running, his stunning vanquishing of Ethiopian world silver medalist Selemon Barega in the 5000m at the Ostrava Golden Spike Meet in September could as well pass for a “notice of intent.”
The 19-year-old squared up to Barega in a fierce home straight brawl to win in 12min, 48.63sec. His time would have been a national record but for Cheptegei’s stunning 12min, 35.36sec world record set a month earlier.
The odds are now high that Uganda will unleash a ferocious double act on the athletics world when the delayed Olympic Games open in July next year.
However, rivalry is the last thing coach Chelangat thinks can happen between the two greats from eastern Uganda.
“What I would say is that both of them are capable of winning each other,” he said. “I have a lot of reservations for the two golden athletes and great sons of Uganda.”
Understandably, Cheptegei and Kiplimo get upset when talks of rivalry are brought up.
“Jacob and I are close family,” Cheptegei told Daily Monitor.
“People should not track us into such talk, we’re too different athletes with special capabilities that the country should pride in, not making comparisons that doesn’t matter.”
Cheptegei is a double world champion from the Doha World Championships in 2019 and would have probably claimed his first or two Olympic golds had the coronavirus not happened on the global sports calendar.
Instead, the 24-year-old now sees the hand of sweet fate in the postponement of the Japan Games by a year. Had the Olympics taken place last year, Kiplimo, who was out for over two years with injury, would have certainly followed the events on television.
But the teenager from Kween District is on course to doubling up the act, the expectations and the aspirations of the country.