Ugandan teenager Jacob Kiplimo kicked his season off in style with victory at the 2018 IAAF Cinque Mulini Cross Country in San Vittore Olona, Italy on Sunday.
The 18-year-old, who is preparing for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, won the 11km race with a time of 34:00 as he beat Ethiopia's Haile Telahun Bekele by 17 seconds.
"I am very happy with the win in this prestigious race," said Kiplimo. "It was not a difficult race today.
"My goal for the season is to run under 27 minutes in the 10,000m and win a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast," Kiplomo told www.iaaf.org.
Kiplimo stayed in the leading pack for most of the race before he broke away from Bekele during the last lap to win the race. Ethiopia's Taye Girma finished in third place (34:31), while Peter Ndegwa of Kenya followed with a time of 34:34.
Kiplimo, who also won gold in the U20 race of the IAAF World Cross Country held in Kampala last year, became the first Ugandan to win the Cinque Mulini race since Boniface Kiprop's triumph in 2004.
Dominic Otuchet, President of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) told KweséESPN on Monday that Kiplimo's win in Italy was a sign of great performances to come.
"He is still a young runner and winning in such races gives him more confidence and motivation," added Otuchet.
In the women's 6km race at the same event, Ethiopia's Letesenbet Gidey was in good form winning with a time of 18:14, while Daisy Jepkemei from Kenya came second with a time of 18:18.