Namboole, Uganda2005 World 3000m Steeplechase champion Dorcus Inzikuru made her come back to competitive athletics at Namboole near the Ugandan capital on Saturday morning (6) by winning the 800m at the 11th Akii Bua Memorial meeting.
Though Inzikuru has tired previous comebacks she has effectively been out of action for the past two years due to treatment of sinus infections and various allergies, and in the same period has also delivered a now 17-month-old baby Emmanuelle Munguci.
Memories out, as a new Inzikuru appears
Inzikuru, put away her poor memories of the venue where exactly one year ago she was lapped once and finished a distant ninth in the 5000m (18:50!) as Dorcus Chesang broke her national junior record (16:05:0) with a 16:04.3 run over the distance.
On Saturday, Inzikuru the 2006 Commonwealth 3000m Steeplechase champion, chose to make her latest comeback in the 800m and with the help of pacesetter Eunice Apollo, went through the first 400m in 1:02.
However, when the second pace setter Adero Nyakisi dropped off at the 600m mark, Inzikuru’s pace decreased as she had no one to push her on, coming home in 2:12.0.
She was followed by Fame Club’s Agnes Aneno (2:14.2) and Prossy Nalukanga (2:17.9) to the finishing line.
“This is my first race after over two years. I am just coming back and am proud of my time. It builds my confidence. I will now go back to Iten and train harder and focus on my race (the 3000m steeplechase),” Inzikuru said after the race.
Bayigga still dominant
Olympian Justine Bayigga was again dominant in the sprints, winning the 100m, 200m and 400m with ease.
The athlete, who spent most of her off season playing rugby, and represented the country in the Inaugural Sevens Women World Cup in Dubai - where she made two tries - proved that she has regained form after clocking 52.6 seconds (hand time) in the 400m one-woman race. }
“I now think that I am hitting my peak. I just pray that I get a good competition as I try to hit the qualifying mark (for Berlin Wch),” said Bayigga.
However, her battle to hit the qualifying mark for the 400m World championships in Berlin is being outdone by the lack of electronic timing systems in the country and also the lack of 400m runners.
“What we are going to try to do is to enter her in the Kenyan championships. Here she will get more competition and also be able to try and hit the qualifying mark,” her coach Noah Ssengendo said after the race.
Lukungu wins Akii Bua memorial race
In the memory of the Late John Akii Bua, Uganda’s 1972 Olympic gold medallist at the 400m Hurdles - Kampala International University student Waisswa Lukungu eased to victory in a time of 54.1 seconds over the one lap of barriers. Silus Okello followed him by clocking 55.3s.
The time might be poor compared to the 1972 Akii Bua’s winning time of 47.82sec, which was also a World record. However, in a country where competition in the hurdles is limited to no more than thrice a year, it’s quite encouraging.
Lukungu came back less than 30 minutes after to win his heat of the flat 400m race, clocking 47.6 seconds, the second best time in all the heats. Only Ramadhan Akulla’s first heat winning time of 47.3seconds was better.
“I rarely train going over the hurdles since there is no competition. I am working on my speed in the 400m and I want to try and run below 45 seconds this season,” said Lukungu.
In other races…
Adero Nyakisi, who last week won the Source of the Nile Half Marathon, cruised to victory in the 1500m, though she said that her main focus was to try and qualify for the 5000m at the World championships.
Also David Okot tried to break his national record of 2.05m in the High Jump, but could only manage 2m.
Norman Katende for IAAF
1 J. Bayigga (Police) 11.5
2 M. Gamba (Makerere) 11.8
1 J. Bayigga (Police) 24.0
2 M. Gamba (Makerere) 27.9
1 J. Bayigga (Police) 52.6
2 E. Nanziri (KIU) 52.9
1 D. Inzikuru (Arua) 2:12.0
2 A. Aneno (Fame) 2:14.1
1 A. Nyakisi (Prisons) 4:25.4
2 V. Chemos (Arua) 4:25.9
1 A. Ngaimuko(KIU) 10.5
2 I. Wesonga (KIU) 10.7
1 K. Latigo (UCU) 21.4
2 I. Wesonga (KIU) 21.5
1 R. Akulla (Ndejje) 47.3
2 W. Lukungu (KIU) 47.6
1 G. Chelangat (Prisons) 1:49.8
2 C. Owor (Lugazi) 1:51.0
1 G. Chelangat (Prisons) 3:50.0
2 Y. Chesire (IUIU) 3:50.8
1 W. Lukungu (KIU) 54.1
2 S. Okello (Ndejje) 55.3
1 D. Okot (Makerere) 2.00
2 S. Otim (Ndejje) 1.80