BY STANLEY MAGUT
Ugandan athletes are in the country for the final leg of Athletics Kenya (AK) track and field weekend meeting starting today at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret.
Four Ugandan athletes accompanied by their coach arrived yesterday and surveyed the newly renovated stadium ahead of today’s action.
Apart from the Ugandans, Kip Keino High Altitude Performance Training Centre, which normally hosts other foreign stars, will also field a number of athletes from other different nationalities. Agnes Aneno, who represented Uganda in women’s 400m at the 2009 World Youth championships in Italy, will also double up in the 200m race.
“I have since graduated to the senior ranks and my preparations are aimed at securing a slot in my country’s team for World Championships in Beijing,” said Aneno, who is the former East Africa 200m gold medallist.
Other Ugandan athletes already here for the show are—Moses Okelo (800m and 400m), Proscavia Nalukanga (1500m), Dickson Waiswa (800m and 1500m).
Okello, who is a Form Six student at Mpumudde High School in Jinja graced the Nakuru weekend meeting, where he finished second in 400m but failed to advance to finals in the 800m at the Kisii weekend meeting.
“I am very happy competing in Kenya because I know it gives me the impetus to perform even better at home. Kenyan meets are good for to endurance and experience,” said Okello.
Ugandan coach James William said he had brought his athletes to run in high altitude and gain experience. He said he is elated to see athletes compete on a tartan-track stadium away from the hustles and bustles of Nairobi. “I am very confident my team will perform well and we will no doubt give Kenyans a run for their money in various events,” he added.
The event has been billed as a ‘mini-trial’ owing to the calibre of athletes it has attracted and the level of competition it is expected to exhibit.
Kenyan coach David Letting predicted a very competitive event with hundreds of athletes from all over the country expected. “Because of the new tartan-track and the proximity to the athletes, every star wants to compete here,” he said.
He, however, said it will be very difficult to post fast times as Eldoret town is 2100m above the sea level. Cabinet Secretary for Sports Hassan Wario is expected to officially open the stadium assisted by Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago. The men’s 1,500m semi-final race will kick off Day 1 programme at 10:40 hours.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke