World 3000m Steeplechase champion Dorcus Inzikuru and Wilson Busienei Kipkemei spearhead a small but high quality Ugandan team that will compete at the 1st IAAF World Road Running Championships that will take place in Debrecen, Hungary on 8 October.
Inzikuru has been entered to run individually in the women’s 20km race after showing well at the Ugandan championships that were held in Iganga on 10 September. However, she was to have had a final fitness test out in Newcastle, England this weekend but we understand that she has informed the organisers that she is not fit to compete, and so her participation in Debrecen must also be called into question at this stage.
In terms of the men’s selection there wasn’t a lot of work for the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) technical committee to do, as the top four finishers in the men’s race at the Ugandan Road Running Championship were confirmed as the men’s squad to travel to Hungary.
In 2004, the Ugandan men’s team took home bronze at the predecessor to this World Athletics Series event, the World Half Marathon Championships, and their line-up of Wilson Busienei Kipkemei, Martin Toroitich, James Kibet and Alex Malinga will be hoping for a good showing again at these inaugural World Road Running Championships.
2004 World Half Marathon 7th placer and reigning Ugandan Road Running champion, Busienei, and 2005 World Championship Marathon sixth placer, Malinga, are the two chief prospects.
Busienei has competed at almost all major competitions this year including the Commonwealth Games and World Cross Country Championships, and recently took a double in the men’s 1500m and 5000m at the two-day Italian Club Championships.
“I am sure I can go very fast if the Hungarian weather doesn’t prove to be very cold as the Canadian weather turned out to be at last year’s World Half Marathon,” said Busienei.
“I want to put off my past bad experiences and concentrate on scoring for my team that is eager to return home with some silverware at this first IAAF Road Running event,” said Malinga.
Uganda’s two other entrants include Boniface Kiprop’s elder brother Martin Toroitich and James Kibet, who were both members of the Ugandan team that won a team bronze medal in 2004 in New Delhi, India.
The team is currently undergoing high altitude training in the hills of Bukwo, far East of the Ugandan capital Kampala at the new permanent altitude Arua Athletics Club camp that was opened earlier this year with the help of the Dutch Embassy in the country.
Daniel Senfuma for the IAAF
Wilson Busienei Kipkemei