By Norman Katende
1. Philip Kiplimo (UGA) 54:22
2. Geoffrey Kusuro (UGA) 55:06
3. Nathan Ayeko (UGA) 55:19
4. Peter Kibet (UGA) 55:27
5. Dematteis Bernard (ITA) 55:44
6. Carera Juan Carlos (MEX) 55:51
1. Uganda 10
2. Italy 40
3. Turkey 82
4. USA 88
UGANDA’S team that won the mountain running championships has said that were inspired to perform better because of President Museveni’s pledge to award international medallists handsomely.
Uganda’s Philip Kiplimo won the IAAF World Mountain running championships for the first time to complete a 1-2-3-4 finish and claim team gold in the event that was held in Krynica, Poland.
And on arrival, Kiplimo did not mince words about the inspiration for the medal haul.
“It was not a simple course and the competition was tight. Some of the challengers including Eritreans did not finish but we hung on and competed. We knew that there was something waiting for us,” said Kiplimo as he displayed the medals won and the trophy for Uganda as overall winners.
Kiplimo clocking 54 minutes 22 seconds to win the 13.56km race with an elevation of 828m before being followed by former World mountain running champion Geoffrey Kusuro, who won a silver medal and Nathan Ayeko, winner of the national mountain Running championships taking the bronze. Uganda set a record as the first country to take the top four places in the IAAF recognised event.
Uganda entered those athletes that narrowly failed to qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow. They accumulated 10 points followed by Italy with 40 points in the event that attracted 365 runners from over 40 countries from 5 continents.
“It was not that easy. The athletes sacrificed and prepared and that is why we are seeing the results. We are proud that they had that fighting spirit,” said Lawrence Kavuma, the vice president of the National Athletics Federation.