03 SEP 2012 General News

Ayeko, Webombesa claim Uganda road running titles

General view - road running (Getty Images)General view - road running (Getty Images) © Copyright
Kampala, UgandaFormer World Youth 3000m champion Catherine Webombesa and Nathan Ayeko are the new Ugandan national road running champions after convincingly beating their opponents in the 21.1km Kampala city road race on Sunday (2).

Breaking away from the field just 200 metres from the finish, Ayeko who was not among the pre-race favourites, stunned a strong field of national and international experienced opponents when he sprinted to victory in 1:01.2. This marked his debut over the Half Marathon distance and claimed his first major national title since turning senior this year.

The race was part of the selection process for the upcoming IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, Kavarna, Bulgaria, 6 October 2012.

The 20-year-old Ayeko was excited about the win. "I could not believe my strategy worked until after crossing the finish line. I worked out a plan knowing very well I am going to face a strong of very experienced international runners."

"So I waited till the last 200 metres to the finish to employ a hard kick to beat my closest opponent Mutai. And my work plan succeeded. Now my focus is on how I can take on the world in Bulgaria."

Former World Youth champion Catherine Webombesa bounced back in style to claim her second national title after two years of absence on the national road running scene. She last won the national road running championship two years ago.

As for Wabombesa triumph, "It was a sweet victory for me after a long two-years duration without competing in the national Half Marathon. I still recall the title I won two years ago. What a good return to the national scene!" she said.

Webombesa ran together with Irene Chemusto for part of the race and took command of the road from the 17 kilometre running solo to cross the finishing line in 1:19.3.

She said the victory now leads her to the next move of focusing on preparations for her next 10km road race in Cean, France.

Daniel Senfuma and Namayo Mawerere for IAAF

Leading Results -
Men:
1. Nathan Ayeko (Alpha) 1:01:02
2, Mutai Simon (Arua) 1:01:03
3. Kiprop Jackson (Prisons) 1:01:03
4. Isaak Ayeko (Elgon) 1:01:04
5. Rotich Daniel (Standard) 1:01:04
6. Chesakit Alex (UPDF) 1:01:05

Women:
1. Catherine Webombesa (UPDF) 1:19:03
2. Chemusto Irene (Prisons) 1:19:05
3. Prim Twikirize (Ndejje) 1:21:06
4. Akidi Stella (MUK) 1:32:01
5, Laini Lulu (UCU) 1:34:05
6. Joyce Baako (Ndejje) 1:40:04