PIC: State minister Charles Bakkabulindi (second from right) inspected Kololo, the venue of Sunday's global event. Deputy director technical, Paul Okello (in gumboots), event director Aggrey Kagonyera (in cream coat) and local Organising committee secretary Beatrice Ayikoru briefed him on the preparations. (Credit: Norman Katende)
Kampala get ready! The world is coming. It’s just six days to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and that means over 1,000 guests – from athletes to officials, fans and journalists – are due in the country over the coming days.
In fact, the first group, a team of 27 from Australia, is expected Tuesday at 1pm local time.
They will be travelling with Fiji’s sole representative. Nearly 10 hours later a team of 35 from the USA is scheduled to touch down at Entebbe Airport.
Five more teams are expected on Wednesday and the process will go on until the last teams arrive on Friday.
The local organising committee (LOC) are promising a “smooth transition for all delegates” that will, among others, include special arrangements made to ease the immigration checks upon their arrivals at Entebbe Airport.
Volunteers will be on hand at the airport to guide delegates through the checks and after to their designated hotels.
Similarly helpful arrangements have been put in place for media representatives who will be staying at the official media hotel.
Sunday’s event will be the 41st edition of the championships and it will be biggest in 10 years, with 553 athletes expected to take part in the four categories.
There will also be a mass race, open to the public but restricted to 300 participants who are required to pay a registration of sh40, 000.
The large numbers will require a lot from the LOC, who plan to employ 300 volunteers for the campaign on top of the 500 policemen, who will be deployed to cater for the security.
Kampala is promising an intriguing race thanks to a “course that is one of the most challenging. All the depressions and rises have been completed and covered with grass to ensure the athletes get a great running surface and challenging one”.