By Norman Katende and Violet Nabatanzi
JACKSON Kiprop is still ready to lead Uganda’s hunt for a marathon gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, despite being hospitalised for over one week.
Kiprop revealed this while speaking to the National Council of Sports (NCS) officials who included general secretary Jasper Aligawesa, his assistant David Katende and board member Badru Sabila, who had paid a courtesy, call on him at Mulago hospital.
Kiprop, who can now sit upright and also chat, though with difficulty, was beaming as he revealed his focus was on the upcoming Glasgow games where he wants to lead Uganda with his training partner Stephen Kiprotich already opting out.
“I thank my fans for the prayers. It has been a trying moment but I can say that I am now recovering. I will have to take some rest before going back to training and my focus is to perform well at the Games,” said Kiprop.
State sports minister Charles Bakkabulindi had also paid him a visit in hospital earlier.
The Mumbai marathon champion and Uganda’s best performer at the New York marathon last year was rushed from Kaptagat, Eldoret where he had been training after suffering with breathing problems.
Asked why he was not be taken to Nairobi, his wife Irene said that they felt it better to bring him back home for treatment after being given some first aid in Eldoret.
Both the minister and NCS handed over cash to cater for some of the expenses even though the government will be footing the entire bill.
“He is our star and when something attacks him, it has attacked the nation. It is good that he is recovering fast and we are proud of him. We thank all who have played a part in seeing him recover and we are hopeful that he will fully recover fast by the signs he is showing,” said Aligawesa.
Those who visited him last week found him feeding in a catheter and could not even speak.