By Norman Katende
53rd edition of Ostrava’s Golden Spike
Men 3000m results
1 Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku (KEN) 7:31.66
2 Yomif Kejelcha (ETH) 7:36.28
3 Nicholas Willis (NZL) 7:36.91
12 Moses Ndiema Kipsiro (UGA) 7:45.82
1 Winnie Nanyondo (UGA) 1:59.27
2 Marina Arzamasova (BLR) 1:59.65
3 Molly Beckwith-Ludlow (USA) 1:59.77
Winnie Nanyondo has put her focus on winning her maiden international medal in the senior category, after improving on her personal best in the 800m, event at the Golden Spikes Ostrava race.
The 20-year-old, who earlier this year won the World University Cross Country championships held at Entebbe then promised she was targeting a podium finish and her fast improvement ever since she went to Europe over a month ago shows that she is till on target.
But her counterpart Moses Kipsiro, the double Commonwealth champion who has been dodged with injury ever since he participated in the National Cross Country championships finished 12th in the fast paced 3000m event.
Nanyondo, a finalist in the world junior championships in Barcelona two years back had promised at the start of the season to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games looked set for the challenge with a new 1 minute 59.27 personal best.
The time was 0.19 seconds off the Annet Negesa’s national record of 1:59.08, which she set in 2012 in the Netherlands.
Nanyondo looked an outsider despite earlier wins in the 800m in Hengelo and 1500m in Nijmegen at the European circuit.
However, the difference was when they reached the home stretch, and it was here that Nanyondo powered her way away from a crowded 14-woman field to a win.
And overtaken by emotions, she did a little dance before kneeling to give God thanks by raising her hands to the skies, her usual celebration after such big wins.
“It was a hard race and I’m very happy,” Nanyondo told journalists after the race.
“It’s only my second (800m) race in Europe and I have to say I like it here.”
It had been looked at as a tight race, but earlier renowned challengers Caster Semenya-former World champion and Jennifer Meadows finished 14th and ninth respectively.
It was instead Belarus’ Maryna Arzamasava (1:59.65) and USA’s Molly Beckwith (1:59.77) who took the next two positions with season best in the race that the top four dipped into two minutes.
But Kipsiro, who was having his first race after a season cupped with injuries still needed more time to recover after finishing 12th in the race that was won by Caleb Ndiku from Kenya, who made a lone man run in the last two laps with World youth champion Yomif Kejelcha (7:36.28) of Ethiopia edging New Zealand’s Olympic medallist Nick Willis (7:38.30), both personal best.
Nanyondo eyes Commonwealth medal, Kipsiro finishes 12th