Three countries have sent teams as Uganda’s top guns line up on Saturday (February 13, 2021) at the National Cross Country Championships, a race that is expected to electrify the Eastern Tororo town.
South Sudan has entered a team of nine runners who include one woman while Spain and USA one male athlete each in the competition that has drawn over 400 runners for the four categorized events (Senior Men 10km, Women 10km, Junior men 8km, Junior Women 6km, Individual mixed relays 2km).
Elite runners and world beaters who have previously tested their athletics prowess strength at the cross country race that takes place at the Tororo Golf Club will be facing off in what is likely to be a sparkling show for national honours, team selection and staked 5 million shillings prize money to be shared between individuals and team winners.
Prominent among the world beaters is World Half Marathon champion, Jacob Kiplimo, 2020 National Cross Country Champion Hosea Kiplangat, Albert Chemutai and Kevin Kibet will be among stars battling for national honours and places on the national team for the Africa Cross Country Championships due next month in Togo.
A horde of other elite runners are certainly in good form having been training in the Sebei hills since the lifting of the Covid -19 sports lockdown.
Kiplimo upstaged World Cross Country Champion Joshua Cheptegei to win the 10km Senior race at the 2018 edition hosted at the same Tororo Golf Course. Kiplimo however went ahead to claim a silver medal later at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships.
However, injury denied Kiplimo defence of the national title last year (2020) while Cheptegei also missed that clash of the two rivals while on a mission to Monaco where he set a new 5km World Record.
A huge clash is also expected in the women’s 10km Senior category, with a strong field comprising 4th finisher at 2019 World cross country Championships, Rachael Zena Chebet who in first week of February 2021 showed great form at the Kenyan Discovery Cross Country, World Cross Country 5th placer Peruth Chemutai, 14th placer Esther Chebet and 2020 National Cross Country defending champion Doreen Chesang lining up.