Benjamin Kiplagat fell and injured his knee, but he pulled himself together and limped to the finish line in the men’s 3000m steeplechase race in London, but was disqualified.
By Norman Katende in London
Benjamin Kiplagat fell and injured his knee, but he pulled himself together and limped to the finish line in the men’s 3000m steeplechase race in London.
He must have done so to avoid being labeled the athlete who failed to finish the race.
But his relief was short-lived when he was instead disqualified for stepping in the inside lane when he was reportedly pushed off and fell, injuring his knee in the process.
The disqualification clearly left the Ugandan runner frustrated, his injury worsening his fury. He settled for quick decisions.
“I am going to talk to my manager and cancel all my European races. My knee is hurting and I know I need some rest,” decided the Africa senior championships bronze medalist.
Kiplagat had changed his running tactics. This time, he kept away from the front, but then he had not practiced running in the crowd.
Athletes and their coaches know that running in a crowd involves tagging and pushing. And so he paid dearly for his new tactic.
The frustrating Sunday event for the Ugandan athlete saw Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi beat France’s Mahieddin Mekhisi to the gold.
Even his fellow countryman in the same race and training partner, Brimin Kipruto almost tripped during the heat of the game when he was reportedly pushed. But he worked well enough to keep on his feet without having to fall awkwardly.
“I have never fallen in any competition. I don’t know what is happening to us this time around,” Kiplagat said, bewildered.
He came home in just over ten minutes, a time worse than his performance in the Junior championships in 2006.
His disqualification worsened Uganda’s troubles in trying to secure at least a medal in London.
Meanwhile, it’s likely that track and road runner Dorcus Inzikuru will call off all her European engagements after the new Nike sports shoes she wore in the women’s 3000m steeplechase race left her foot sore and bleeding.
Inzikuru, who was walking with difficulty on Sunday had to be given bed rest after she developed blisters.
“We always warn them to at least put on shoes two weeks before the race and get used to them. Even massaging her was a problem but she is trying to recover,” said the athletics coach, Faustino Kiwa.
Double loss for Uganda''s Kiplagat