03 AUG 2006 General News

Chepkirwot leads Uganda to Beijing

Teenager Abraham Chepkirwot en route to his 1:45.0 win at the Akii-Bua memorial in Kampala (Daniel Senfuma)Teenager Abraham Chepkirwot en route to his 1:45.0 win at the Akii-Bua memorial in Kampala (Daniel Senfuma) © Copyright

Kampala, UgandaUganda Athletics Federation (UAF) has  released a team of seven junior athletes to represent the country at the 11th IAAF World Junior Championships scheduled to take place 15-20 August in Beijing, China.

Although the team looks small in number, there is much to talk about the quality of the stars that have selected by the UAF technical committee.

Middle distance runner Abraham Chepkirwot 17, a student at Gombe S.S will be the main athlete to watch in the Ugandan squad that goes hunting for more silverware at the World juniors where World 3000m Steeplechase champion Dorcus Inzikuru (2000), Commonwealth 10,000m champion Boniface Kiprop (2004) and Julius  Acon (1994) have all won gold medals for Uganda.

Chepkirwot travels to China with an impressive 1:45.00, that he registered at the Akii-Bua memorial championship held at Namboole stadium in Uganda a couple of months ago.

He has tried to go under the mark in his previous races in Europe but hasn’t succeeded but is promising to go faster in China.

Benjamin Kiplagat who was the headline at the country’s senior championships held over the weekend with a 29:05.1 in the 10,000m final will try his luck in the 3000m Steeplechase.

Two other runners who with Kiplagat took part in this year's World Cross Country Championships, Simon Ayeko (1500m and 5000m) and Geoffrey Kusuro (5000m) are also on the team together with newcomer Stephen Kiprotich (10,000m). The lone female on the team is Monica Akello who will compete in the 800m.

“We have a lot of hopes in our quality team that they might all reach the finals of their respective events,” said UAF publicity secretary Namayo Mawerere while releasing the team.

Uganda has participated in nine 9 IAAF World Junior championships out of eleven and its campaign, the country has managed to win three gold medals and two bronze medals.

Daniel Senfuma for IAAF