Uganda is banking on Beijing Olympic 5000m fourth placer Moses Kipsiro to head their challenge at the 37th IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Amman, Jordan on 28 March 2009.
Although he has not impressed at the two previous World Cross Country Championships despite excelling in build-up races Kipsiro is confident of a podium finish in Amman.
The two-time Ugandan cross country champion Kipsiro won the ‘27th Cross
Internacional de Itálica’ - the second Spanish leg of the 2008/2009 IAAF Cross Country permit series, in Seville on 18 January, registering a big victory over Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele, the World Indoor 3000m champion.
“I have no problem and (Kenenisa) Bekele’s absence in Amman is a big boost for my team and a podium finish is not far from our reach,” said Kipsiro who has been for a month’s altitude training in Kapchorwa with the rest of his team-mates.
Geoffrey Kusuro, the 2007 World Junior Mountain Running champion, James Kibet, a 2003 World Junior Cross Country team bronze medallist, Stephen Kiprotich, Nicolas Kiprono and Ben Siwa are all capable of fitting in the big shoes of the absent Boniface Kiprop, the three World XC Junior individual medallist who didn’t compete at the national xc champs and thus missed out on the team.
National coach Nalis Bigingo commented: "All the boys are in a winning mood, the preparations were good, no injury and I expect Kipsiro to lead the team by example when the race starts over the weekend."
Juniors Men - Uganda looks to maintain reputation
In a run ending in 2004, Uganda won 5 consecutive team bronze medals in the World Junior XC race, and its squad returned to the bottom rung of the podium again last year in Edinburgh.
Moses Kibet, Dickson Huru, Benard Cheptoch, Ronald Kiprotich and Timothy
Toroitich will look to maintain their country’s reputation in this race in Amman.
Daniel Senfuma for IAAF
Senior men: M. Kipsiro, G.Kusuro, S.Kiprotich, N.Kiprono, J.Kibet, B.Siwa
Junior men: M. Kibet, D. Huru, B. Cheptoch, R. Kiprotich, T. Toroitich
Coach: Nalis Bigingo