Long distance runners Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo will carry Uganda’s hopes for medals in the upcoming World Cross Country Championships slated for March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark.
Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) and National Council of Sports (NCS) have on Tuesday afternoon flagged off a team of 27 athletes for the world meet. The team will be flying out tonight.
Kiplimo won the nation’s first individual World Cross country gold when the event was last held in Kololo, Kampala and has managed to heighten his game since.
The youngster beat world 10,000m silver medallist Cheptegei when they recently faced off in Tororo in the Uganda Cross Country Championships.
“I hope I can bring something from there,” spoke a shy Kiplimo during an interview with Leone Senyange of CGTN. “We have trained well and very focussed.”
On the stiff competition with Cheptegei, he commented: “It is going to be very tough, it will not be very easy, but am hoping for the best.”
Cheptegei ran out of steam in Kololo in 2017 but has since won back the hearts of many thanks to his double gold in Gold Coast in 2018.
And he is now confident that he can triumph in Aarhus.
“Am a man of surprise, I won’t promise. Am expecting the best performance. Everyone is focused, the morale is high, and we have a strong team both mentally and physically.”
Sarah Chelangat, Hosea Kiplagat and Stella Chesang are the other big hopes to bag a medal.
The team that has been training in Kapchorwa, will field runners in Junior Women (6KM), Junior Men (8KM), Senior Women (10 KM), Senior Men (10 KM) and Men and Women mixed relays (8KM).
NCS’ assistant General Secretary David Katende commented:
“As Government, we shoulder the responsibility to support these events fully. So to you athletes, don’t get scares about the competition, remain focussed because we are all behind you.”
In his long speech, UAF president Dominic Otuchet commended the government for the support, claiming that they have chosen the right sport that raises the country’s flag.
Chelangat Sarah, Chesang Annet, Chekwomoi Esther Yeko, Chalangat Rebecca, Chelangat Leah.
Chesang Stella, Chebet Zena Racheal, Chebet Esther, Chekwel Juliet, Chesang Doreen, Chemutai Peruth
Kiplagat Hosea, Chebet Daniel, Chekrui Mathew Job, Chebet Samuel, Oscar Chelimo, Denis Chelotic.
Jacob Kiplimo, Joshua Cheptegei Kiprui, Albert Chemutai, Ayiekho Thomas, Rotich Maxwell Kotex.
Dorcus Ajok, Sylvia Chelangat, Ronald Musagala, Daniel Kiprop