KAMPALA. Thomas Ayeko admits Ugandan athletes must improve their finishing if they are to challenge for medals at the Commonwealth Games. Ayeko, who won bronze at the Africa Cross Country Championships which concluded in Chlef, Algeria on Saturday, had a commanding lead which was sliced by the Kenyan duo of Alfred Barkach and Julius Kogo with 50 metres to run.
“When we went into the final bend I tumbled after one of the Kenyans shoved me and by the time I regained they were ahead,” Ayeko said. The trio finished the race in a uniform time of 30:47 with Ayeko being awarded the bronze.
The senior women race was also decided by the final kick as Stella Chesang was outsprinted by Kenyans Celliphine Chespol and Margaret Chelimo to finish fifth, 20 seconds behind the leader.
“Personally, I need to work on speed work in the remaining days because I must improve my finishing speed,” Ayeko added. Team manager Charles Mukiibi blamed the rains and cold conditions that averaged 12° as the 17-man team was received last evening at the National Council of Sports (NCS) headquarters at Lugogo by AIGP Andrew Sorowen.
For Ayeko, Kipyeko, Mercyline Chelangat and Chesang this was a build-up to the Commonwealth Games and will rush to Kapchorwa to join camp for the April 4 to 15 Gold Coast Games. The first batch of the team leaves this Saturday.