By Norman Katende
The beating of former World and Commonwealth steeplechase champion Dorcus Inzikuru by little known primary three kids from Karamoja highlighted the 8th Akii Bua memorial meet that was held at Namboole stadium on Sunday.
There was some notable performance from runners like Dennis Opio while world junior bronze medallist Jacob Araptany was beaten on the finish line by Alex Cherop in the men’s 1500m event.
Womens' 100m at the Akii Bua memorial meet
Inzikuru beaten on her track comeback
Inzikuru was confident that she had recovered fully, having finished second in the Akii Bua memorial half marathon last month and looked prepared for the 5000m having finished 5th in the 800m race.
However, the pace that was set by World Junior Championship bound Stella Chesang saw her over stretch herself and by the fourth lap in the twelve and half lap race, she was evidently struggling.
Athletes remember Akii Bua by competing in the 400m hurdles
But barefooted Sarah Nakwel, a primary three pupil from Karamoja had other plans, coming from fifth position and over taking all, save for race winner Chesang by the seventh lap.
She went on to finish second clocking 17 minutes 13.09 seconds with Inzikuru following 22 seconds later.
Police’s Chesang clocked 16 minutes 22.10 seconds, showing signs that she can even do a sub 16 minutes if she has good competition after running all alone from the second lap.
Tony Akii Bua not happy with hurdle competition
Tony Akii Bua, the son of John Akii Bua was not happy about the event turn up but was optimistic that something can be done to spice up the event and give it the respect it deserves.
Janneth Acan competes in Discuss
“In other countries, remembering a hero is an inspiration to the younger ones but where are the young ones or even the fans? We cannot even raise enough hurdles for a full competition,” he said of the race that only had hurdles for four lanes.
It is no wonder that the event attracted only seven competitors with Prison’s Silas Okello winning in a time of 56.30 seconds- one that would leave Akii Bua crying if he was alive.
40 years back, Akii Bua run a World record of 47.82 and someone would believe that an improvement or at least a time not over 9 seconds from that would be posted.
“Maybe there is a need to revise the strategies we are using,” Bua, who had his father’s gold medal with him said.
Opio and Banura’s double
One lap runner Dennis Opio was in form continuing his dominance as he ran 46.77 and 21.04 to win the respective 400m and 200m events.
Tony Akii Bua, son of John Akii Bua interacts with the hurdlers
The Uganda Wildlife Association runner was already a winner as he curved the final home stretch in the 400m event, beating Ndejje’s Anthony Okiror (48.20) and Stephen Nokrach (48.26) to give more hope for team Uganda to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games relays.
The technical team is set to meet early this week to make a final team that will head to Glasgow, waiting for confirmation of availability of funds.
Maureen Banura was also a double winner in the 100m and 200m. In the 100m, she had beaten Emily Nanziri, who had opted to try out the sprint with her body not feeling well for the longer 400m event.
Nanziri was third behind Scovia Ayikoru in the sprints. “I just felt tired,” said Nanziri after the race.
Her decision to compete in the 100m meant that Shida Leni’s hope of making it to Glasgow will only be courtesy of a wild card or if Uganda enters a women’s relay team.
But this depends on whether the federation can identify a fourth person to support the trio of Nanziri, Nanyondo and Leni.
Banura finished second in the 400m, while Leni finished second in the 200m.
Cherop beats Araptany on line
A longer jumper lands during the Akii Bua memorial meet
It had looked to be an explosive 1500m men’s event when Elgon’s Alex Cherop and Police’s Jacob Araptany took the lead in the last two laps.
It kept the lukewarm field on tension, not knowing who would take the event this time round as the race unfolded.
Araptany, the world junior bronze medallist, had taken the lead and looked strong but the home stretch proved the difference as Cherop had more sprint endurance, beating him with about 3m to the finishing line.
However, Cherop’s winning time of 3 minutes 44.25 seconds was below the Glasgow qualifying mark of 3:35.00.
Jimmy Adar also continued with his comeback by clocking 1:49.32 in the 800m he dominated while Ndejje’s Dorcus Ajok won the women 800m and 1500m event.
Same names in the field event
The dominance of the names in the field events continued though there was little improvement as Janneth Acan continued with her wins in the shot put and Discus, Lucy Aber javelin and Mary Zawadi Unyuthfua in the long jump in the women categories.
Alex Cherop in green, beat Jacob Araptany in black in the 1500m
It was the same as Francis Oketayot won both the long and triple jumps, Oscar Opio (discuss and shot put), Emmanuel Okello (high jump) and Robert Okello (javelin).
The weekend action heads outside Kampala with west Nile and Kyabazinga action at Adjumani and Bugembe respectively on Saturday to tap more talent.
Akii Bua Memorial selected top results
1 Moureen Banura (KCCA) 12.42
2 Scovia Ayikoru (Entebbe) 12.47
3 Emily Nanziri (Police) 12.54
1 Moureen Banura (KCCA) 24.3
2 Shida Leni (Ndejje) 24.6
3 Scovia Ayikoru (Entebbe) 24.9
1 Shida Leni Ndejje (53.82)
2 Moureen Banura (KCCA) 55.05
3 102 Nabirye Nasiba UWA 55.72
4 451 Ayikoru Scovia Entebbe 56.00
5 365 Baako Joyce Ndejje 62.04
1 Dorcus Ajok (Ndejje) 2:06.56
2 Susan Aneno (KCCA) 2:09.68
3 Moureen Nandago (Standard) 2:16.69
1 Dorcus Ajok (Ndejje) 4:22.54
2 Patricia Chekwemoi (Police) 4:27.08
3 Susan Nakamya (Kamuli) 4:41.82
1 Stella Chesang (Police) 16:22.10
2 Sarah Nakwel (Standard) 17:13.09
3 Dorcus Inzikuru (Police) 17:35.38
1 Janneth Acan (UCU) 37.40
2 Caroline Aber (Prisons) 36.30
3 Lucy Aber (Police) 28.90
1 Janneth Acan (UCU) 12.00
2 Peace Mirembe (Ndejje) 11.04
3 Caroline Aber (Prisons) 10.94
1 Mary Zawadi Unyuthfua (UCU) 5.93
2 Everlyn Achan (KCCA) 5.22
3 Zawedde Munanura (Gombe SS) 4.92
1 Lucy Aber (Police) 45.95
2 Caroline Aber (Prisons) 40.47
3 Peace Mirembe (Ndejje) 34.52
1 Ivan Wesonga (UCU) 10.71
2 Moses Odong (Ndejje) 10.80
3 Lazarus Inya (Police) 10.91
1 Denis Opio (UWA) 21.04
2 Godwin Byamukama (Parliament) 21.71
3 Praise Demus (Prisons) 22.05
1 Denis Opio (UWA) 46.77
2 Anthony Okiror (Ndejje) 48.20
3 Stephen Nokrach (Prisons) 48.26
1 Silas Okello (Prisons) 56.30
2 Samuel Andabati (Prisons) 56.51
3 Stephen Nokrach (Prisons) 57.07
1 Jimmy Adar (Prisons) 1:49.78
2 Alex Cherop (Elgon) 1:52.66
3 Samuel Andabati (Prisons) 1:53.43
1 Alex Cherop (Elgon) 3:44.25
2 Jacob Araptany (Police) 3:44.28
3 Stephen Kiisa (Prisons) 3:49.42
1 Dickson Huru (UPDF) 28:56.61
2 Dominic Korir (KCCA) 29:16.09
3 Isaac Kibet (Police) 29:19.83
1 Francis Oketayot (KCCA) 14.87
2 Francis Bitek (Ndejje) 14.59
3 Richard Tabu (Gombe SS) 14.40
1 Francis Oketayot (KCCA) 7.16
2 Isaac Namuwombi (Prisons) 6.90
3 Francis Bitek (Ndejje) 6.84
1 Oscar Opio (Prisons) 36.82
2 Martin Odong (Prisons) 35.14
3 Rafael Okot (Ndejje) 33.90
1 Emmanuel Okello (Ndejje) 1.95
2 Christopher Onang (Prisons) 1.85
3 Fredrick Ochero (Ndejje) 1.80
1 Robert Okello (Prisons) 57.04
2 Oscar Opio (Prisons) 55.55
3 Willy Olanya (Ndejje) 52.75
1 Oscar Opio (Prisons) 13.28
2 Martin Odong (Prisons) 12.56
3 Jimmy Oweka (Prisons) 12.22
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Inzikuru beaten by unknown Nakwel in Akii Bua meet