Comfortable victory for Stephen Kiprotich in Bukwo (Daniel Senfuma) © Copyright
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Kiprotich, Chepkwel prevail at Bukwo road race

Bukwo, Uganda2007 Osaka World Championships 5000m participant Stephen Kiprotich and the upcoming Juliet Chepkwel headlined the fourth annual Bukwo Road Race held in the high altitude areas of Mt Elgon on Saturday (19).

Easy win for Kiprotich – men’s race

Kiprotich became the favourite right from start after the absence of defending champion Isaac Kiprop and the Commonwealth 10,000m champion Boniface Kiprop, together with Osaka 5000m bronze medalist Moses Kipsiro who is competing at 26th Cross Internacional de Itálica in Santiponce, near Seville.

Kiprotich ran foot to foot with the leading pack that comprised Moses Kibet, Abraham Kiplimo, Moses Aliwa, and Nathan Chebet  but the race changed pace just after three kilometres when Kiprotich escaped from the rest to break the tape in 30:53, improving Isaac Kiprop’s course record by a second.

Moses Kibet took second 31:13 while Abraham Kiplimo crossed in third position with 31:21.

"It was my turn to win, I was determined to beat Isaac Kiprop if he was to participate,” said Kiprotich, a prospect for the Ugandan Cross Country team for the World Championships in March. “I have now launched my campaign to make the national team and also win a medal at the 2008 World Cross Country."

Surprise by Chepkwel – women’s race

Newcomer, Juliet Chepkwel from Standard High camp, surprised the fans when she crossed the 5km finish line in 19:00, shy of the course record of 18:21 set by Mercy Chelagat.

Chelagat was shown no respect when she was relegated to fourth position, clocking 19:46.

New entrant Gladys Kapkwarich finished second in 19:22 and Viola Chemos from former World Steeplechase champion Dorcus Inzikuru’s Arua camp managed a third place showing in 19:43.

"The course was okay and the pace was medium,” said Chepkwel who finished fourth last year on her debut. “I did not face a stiff challenge because my challengers could not match my endurance. I found myself in the lead till the finish."

The race also attracted over 300 youngsters below the age of 14 who walked away with scholastic materials.

The Uganda Athletics Federation Technical Vice President, Okot Omony was impressed with the increased attraction of athletes and fans to the annual competition. 

"The numbers are very impressive because of the existence of the two camps in the area. We have definitely spotted more long distance runners and given a few years Uganda will see more Kiprops and Inzikurus coming up," Okot said.

Daniel Senfuma and Namayo Mawerere for IAAF

Selected results -
Men (10km):
1. Stephen Kiprotich (Standard) 30:53
2. Moses Kibet (Standard) 31:31
3. Abraham Kiplimo (Standard) 31:21
4. Moses Aliwa (Arua) 31:36
5, Moses Parngetuny (Arua) 31:44
6. Sac Kipyego (Standard) 31:56

Women (5Km):
1. Juliet Chepkwel (Standard) 19:00
2. Gladys kapkwarich (Standard) 19:22
3. Viola Chemos (Arua) 19:43
4. Mercy Chelagat (Standard)  19:46
5, Rebecca Cheptegei (Arua) 19:48
6. Rachael Chelimo (Independent) 19:54