World Cross Country silver medallist Thomas Ayeko and Annet Negesa are the new Ugandan Cross Country champions after convincingly out witting their opponents at the one day championship in the Eastern Ugandan town of Jinja on Saturday (11).
Breaking away from the field just 10 kilometres into the race, pre-race favourite Ayeko covered the first five kilometres in a commanding 13 minutes that saw him break away from the rest of the field to claim his first major national honour. Ayeko broke the finishing tape in 33:55, almost a minute earlier than Standard high’s Abraham Kiplimo who finished in second position with a time of 34:21.
“My goal today was to win the race but it was not easy because I faced a very strong opposition even without Moses Kipsiro,” Ayeko the Punta Umbria world Cross silver medalist said. “I will go back to the Bukwo hills to train for the Africa Cross Country,” he added.
Alex Cherop’s final kick prevailed as he beat a competitive field to emerge the new champion of the junior men's race. The trio of Nathan Ayeko, Mande Abdalla and Kurong Moses all looked certain of a gold before Cherop out kicked the field to win the race in 22:40 while Nathan Ayeko and Mande were both timed at 22:41 to claim the silver and bronze respectively.
Annet Negesa was unchallenged after she ran a solo race to defend the senior women’s title with a respectable timing of 26:22.
“With two laps to go, I realised I needed to increase the pace and concentrated on my focus to win the race at all cost,” said the All Africa Games 800m gold medallist.
Nancy Cheptegei also successfully defended the junior women’s race with a time of 19:23. “The win has boosted my preparations for the forthcoming African Championship. I am happy to win the event once again,” Cheptegei said.
Daniel Senfuma & Namayo Mawerere for the IAAF
1. Ayeko Thomas (Elgon) 33:55
2. Kiplimo Abraham (Standard) 34:21
3. Toroitich Tim (Elgon) 34:22
4. Araptany Jacob (Alpha) 34:33
5. Kiplimo Philip (Prisons) 34:51
6. Kibet Peter (Standard) 35:00
1. Cherop Alex (police) 22:40
2. Ayeko Nathan (Alpha) 22.41
3. Mande Abdalla (Police) 22:41
4. Kurong Moses (police) 22:45
5. Cherop Michale (Newton) 22:56
6. Kiplagat Wycliff (Elgon) 23:10
1. Annet Negesa (Standard) 26;22
2. Chemos Viola (Arua) 26:28
3. Cheptegei Rebecca (UPDF) 27:26
4. Cheruto Stella (Standard) 27;26
5. Chemutai vanis (Prisons) 27:30
6. Cheruto Jackline (UPDF) 27:34
1. Cheptegei Nancy (Standard) 19:23
2. Chesang Stella (Alpha) 19:36
3. Chepkwemoi Patricia (Alpha)
4. Chebet Racheal Stella (Alpha)
5. Brenda Cherop (Standard) 20:28
6. Sande Doreen (Elgon) 20:54
7. Nassali Juliet (Kamuli) 21:01