GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG track alum Paul Chelimo continued his medal-winning ways Saturday evening in London as he claimed the bronze medal in the 5,000-meter race at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. This marks the second time in two years Chelimo has medaled in the 5,000-meter distance after winning the silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Chelimo came in third overall in the distance race with a time of 13:33.30 as his final kick came up just short of the top two finishers. He finished behind Muktar Edris of Ethiopia (13:32.79) and Mohamed Farah (13:33.22) of Great Britain. Chelimo held the lead at various times during the race but had to battle back from sixth place at the start of the final lap, using his famed closing kick to make it to the medal stand. He third-place finish capped off a crazy week in London as he qualified for the finals despite falling twice in the preliminary heat.
Chelimo’s last 365 days have been monumental for the UNCG graduate. He shocked most predictions at the Rio Olympics by winning his preliminary heat to become the top qualifier before winning the silver medal, finishing just behind Farah. Chelimo’s time of 13:03.90 in the Olympic final smashed his personal-best time of 13:19.54, set in the preliminaries.
The 2014 UNCG graduate in public health is a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program and currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.