KAMPALA- They are probably the best runners Uganda can present at the Africa Senior Championships due in Asaba, Nigeria from 1-5 August, 2018. It’s a right mix of form, promise and experience.
The 20-member Team Uganda that is split into two for the camp in Kapchorwa (middle and distance) and Namboole (sprinters and throwers) faces a big test.
With double gold Commonwealth medallist Joshua Cheptegei out with injury, the baton has been passed onto Timothy Toroitich and sensational Jacob Kiplimo in 10,000m while Kevin Kibet and Stephen Kissa will fill the void in the 5,000m. But there lies the problem – the team is short of a leader.
Cheptegei is nursing an injury he aggravated during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia. Domenic Otucet, president of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) said, “It is important that he gets enough time to heal so that he can return stronger.”
All eyes on Chesang
Stella Chesang (21), the Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion, will also shoulder the medal-burden as she vies for her first African gold as a senior.
Chesang, who surprised teammate Mercyline Chelangat, who had headlined the local events prior to the Commonwealth Games, will have her legs do the talking on the track against a star-studded field.
The newly promoted Inspector of Police ran 31:45.30 at the Gold Coast but must again overcome the Kenyan pair of African champion Alice Aprot and rejuvenated two-time World Military Games champion Pauline Korikwiang.
TEAM UGANDA TO NIGERIA
Women: Stella Chesang, Mercyline Chelangat (10,000m), Janet
Chemusto (5,000m), Winnie Nanyondo, Halima
Nakaayi (800m), Peruth Chemutai (3000mSC), Shida Leni
(200/400m), Scovia Ayikoru (100m/200m), Lucy Aber (javelin)
and Josephine Lalam (Javelin).
Men: Timothy Toroitich, Jacob Kiplimo (10,000m),Albert
Chemutai (3000m SC), Ronald Musagala (1500m), Geoffrey
Ruto, Rashid Atiau (800m), Pius Adome (100m/200m),
Leonard Opiny (400m), Stephen Kissa, Kevin Kibet (5,000m)