Despite Uganda’s best half marathon runner Wilson Busienei Kipkemei not making the trip, the small east African country has picked what it hopes will a strong squad of three athletes for the IAAF/Caixa World Half Marathon Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 12 October 2008.
Busienei was a member of the team that won a bronze medal at the 2004 edition of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships held in New Delhi, his 7th place individual place marking Uganda’s best ever finish at the event. The following year on the cold streets of Edmonton he could only manage a 14th position.
Uganda’s Rio ambitions will be led by the experienced Martin Toroitich Kityo, another of the bronze medal squad from the 2004 edition in New Delhi. The 25-year-old is in good form, as at last month’s World Mountain Running Trophy race in Sierre / Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Toroitich finished second, while in Palermo, Italy at the famous Giro di Castelbuono road race (11.3km) he finished third.
Uganda also fields two-time national road running champion Isaac Kiprop, who will be competing at the World Half Marathon Championships for the first time, and James Kibet, who participated at the 2005 edition in Edmonton, Canada, where he was a lowly 57th.
Daniel Senfuma for IAAF