(Credit: Norman Katende)
With little to show in terms of international achievement, 21-year-old Stephen Kissa anxiously wants to prove himself.
The World Cross Country therefore provides a golden opportunity for Kissa.
“I can’t ask for more. Having such a huge competition at home is too good an opportunity. I promise Uganda a good performance.”
To ensure that his dream for a podium finish becomes a reality. Kissa has given his best in training.
“A medal can only come after hard work in training. Looking back at the time we have been in camp, I must say I am satisfied,” Kissa said after Monday’s workout.
He was however disappointed that his role model Somali born British star Mo Farah will not be at Kololo.
“I would have loved to have some serious talk with him on how he does his thing. I would like to know his secret.”
Kissa will take to the Kololo course with memories of a 15th place finish at the same place in the Africa Championship in 2014.
“I was still inexperienced that time. I am a much better runner today,” he says adding that the focus is on the big names but that is likely to change on Sunday.
“I have this feeling that I am going to be a big star this weekend.”
Uganda Athletics Federation spokesperson Namayo Mawerere is one of those who believe Kissa is destined for greatness.
“He is a talented athlete who has showed steady progress but most important, he is also disciplined. If he continues like this the sky will be the limit.”
Kissa sees the world meet as a springboard to his dreams.
“I have always dreamt of the day I will drive my own car and also have a permanent house.”
He will therefore be seriously be going for the cash prizes on offer. Winners in the senior category will each earn $30,000 (sh108m).
After Sunday he will be focused on winning a medal at the London World Athletics Championships.
He will qualify for London if he finishes among the top 15 on Sunday World athletics governing body IAAF admits top 15 finishers of each of the world cross country races to the 10000m of track and fi eld event.
Born: December 1, 1995
2014 - 15th Africa Cross Country
2017 - 5th National Cross Country