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Thursday,November 15,2018 15:59 PM

2017 World Cross Country: 'We are ready'

By James Bakama

Added 10th March 2017 06:14 AM

“This week has been devoted to straightening out the few dents that were still remaining."

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“This week has been devoted to straightening out the few dents that were still remaining."

World Cross Country organisers in Kampala have said the competition course is almost fully ready for use.

Competition director Faustino Kiwa has accordingly invited athletes to try out the Kololo course in the final week to competition.

“This week has been devoted to straightening out the few dents that were still remaining,” Kiwa explained.

Such areas include tyre marks left while delivering materials to the course. Chemicals have also been placed to boost grass growth.

Grass planted in new areas like the tarmac and the improvised ditch is, according to Kiwa, already doing very well. Preparatory measures this week will include closing off all entries to the area save for the western gate.

“We want the area to be at its best when the world comes to Kololo. We don’t want any excuses,” said Kiwa whose work yesterday included a thorough check of the course.

IAAF cross country ambassador Paul Tergat who visited the course last week described it as unique.

He noted that the course not only had natural beauty and serene surroundings but also had a grand pavilion accommodating close to 5000 people.

Uganda’s courses have been described as some of the best. Uganda Athletics Federation was spoilt for choice in choosing between Kololo and Jinja, whose course lies adjacent to the source of River Nile. Then there is also Entebbe golf course.

This one lies not only next to the Entebbe Wildlife Centre but also the world’s second biggest lake — Victoria.

The world cross country will be the biggest sports event ever hosted by Uganda. By last week a total of 60 countries had confirmed participation.

More are expected before Monday’s deadline. Athletics giants Ethiopia and Kenya are amongst the countries that will be fi elding full teams of 28 athletes.

Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, USA, Great Britain and South Africa will also have full teams.

Morocco, South Africa and Kenya are the only African countries ever to have hosted the now biennial event that is in its 42nd edition.

The Danish city of Aarhus will be the next host of the competition in 2019.

 

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