Sao Silvestre Kibiwott Kandie Jacob Kipligo
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Early celebration proves costly in San Silvestre de Sao Paulo race

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Ugandan teenager Jacob Kiplimo was just a couple of steps away from winning the 95th San Silvestre de Sao Paulo Road Race road race on Tuesday in Sao Paulo and was set to break the record set by Paul Tergat. He raised his arms in celebration as he took his last strides.

But then Kibiwott Kandie suddenly appeared alongside, also raising his arms in celebration, then hit the finish line half a stride ahead of Kiplimo and keeping the record in Kenyan hands.

Kandie is the first person to break the 43-minute mark in the 15k race, crossing the line in 42:59. Kiplimo’s time was 43-flat.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won a far less dramatic women’s race, finishing in 48:54. Kosgei smashed the marathon world record 11 weeks ago in Chicago.

The popular annual race, which has inspired other Saint Silvester’s Day races in Spain and Portugal, has attracted strong fields for several decades. Tergat’s record run in 1995 was the first of five wins for the five-time cross-country world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist, who would also hold records in the marathon, half-marathon and 10,000 meters over the course of his career.

Kiplimo also seems poised to threaten records over his career. Last year on New Year’s Eve, Kiplimo won the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid in 26:41, handily beating the race record held by Eliud Kipchoge, for whom Kiplimo would serve as a pace-setter when the the Kenyan broke the two-hour marathon mark.

The time from last year was faster than the then-world record of 26:44, held by Kenyan Leonard Patrick Komon, but the race was downhill and therefore not eligible for record consideration. Joshua Cheptegui officially broke the record earlier this month in Valencia with a time of 26:38.

Kandie took his third major road race win of the year, all in personal-best times. In August, he won a half marathon in Lille in 59:31. Last month, he won a 10k in Casablanca in 27:56.

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Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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Conseslus Kipruto tests positive for coronavirus, canceling world-record bid

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Conseslus Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, tested positive for the coronavirus without symptoms, which will keep him from a world-record chase on Friday, according to his social media.

The Kenyan was to race in the first in-person Diamond League meet of the year in Monaco on Friday.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” was posted. “Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well.”

Kipruto, 25, is the 14th-fastest steepler in history with a personal best of 8:00.12. The world record is 7:53.63, set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.

Last year, Kipruto won the world title by .01, extending a streak of a Kenyan or Kenyan-born man winning every Olympic or world title in the event since the 1988 Seoul Games. He was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot until opening his season extremely late on Aug. 24.

MORE: Trayvon Bromell’s road back through destruction, death

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Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th. I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well. Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organise a steeple once I can be cleared? @diamondleaguemonaco #nike #quarantine #WR #Kenya

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