"Most of them have not been training and maybe the low performance is a wake-up call."
PIC: Local athletes battle for slots during the national trials at Namboole Stadium. (Credit: David Namunyala)
Local athletes will need to step up their fitness level in a bid to score the set International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) standard qualification mark ahead of the London World Athletics Championships scheduled for August 3 and 14 in Great Britain.
This was after only two of the local athletes scored above the qualification mark at the first national track and field trials that was held at Namboole at the weekend.
“We should not look at how many athletes hit the qualification mark especially at the first trials. Most of them have not been training and maybe the low performance is a wake-up call,” Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) publicity secretary Namayo Mawerere said.
“Personally am impressed with the turnout and surely this raises the level of competition ahead of the next trials, he added.
But of the hundreds that turned up for the weekend trials, only Musa Isabirye from Prisons and Pius Adoma of Uganda Police team managed to score above the standard mark.
Isabirye and Adama crossed the finishing line with a time record of 10.05sec and 10.07sec respectively in first and second position in the 100m and above IAAF's mark of 10.12sec.
But unlike the duo, their counterparts including Ezra Mutai, Rashid Etian and Cissy Nantumbwe will need to hype their fitness level to try and beat the required mark.
In the 10,000m, Ezra Mutai topped the men's category with 29:40.09sec but still below the qualification mark of 27:45.00sec.
While Adama returned with victory in the men’s 200m with 21.05sec, his colleague Rashid Etian also won the 1,500m with a time record of 3:54.02sec, But they were both below the mark of 20.44sec and 3:36.00sec, respectively, required for an athlete to qualify in the 200m and 1500m races.
In the women’s side, Nantumbwe clocked finished the 5,000m race in 17:51.02sec but two minutes below the IAAF mark of 15:22.00sec.
However according to Mawerere there is still more time for athletes to better their times and qualify for the world championship.
UAF will hold a total of 15 trials to help athletes also qualify for the World Under-18 Championships scheduled for July 18-24 in Nairobi, Kenya and Commonwealth Youth Games due in Bahamas.