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Focus on Mutai for gold medal

By James Bakama

Added 5th August 2017 04:28 PM

Mutai is the man Ugandans are mainly banking on for a medal this time round.

Solomonmutai 703x422

Mutai is the man Ugandans are mainly banking on for a medal this time round.

World Athletics
Championships, SS8
Morning session
12.05pm - men’s
3,000m steeplechase
first round
12.55pm-men’s
marathon
Evening session
11.15pm- men’s 800m
semi-finals

His name still resonates in London. It’s on these very streets five years ago that Stephen Kiprotich strode to Olympic glory.

Many in the English capital can’t come to terms with the fact Kiprotich won’t be returning to the city that thrust him to fame.

It will instead be different faces carrying Uganda’s flag in the World Athletics Championships men’s marathon on Sunday.

Kiprotich had the best qualification time but pulled out at the last minute due to injury.

Solomon Mutai, Robert Chemonges and Alex Chesakit will be the men representing Uganda this time.

So, will London again be a source of good fortune for Uganda? Ugandans will be praying of a repeat of the London 2012 result when the starter’s gun sounds for the men’s marathon.

Mutai is the man Ugandans are mainly banking on for a medal this time round.

He won bronze at the last edition of the world meet in Beijing, China.

But what is even more important is the steady progress he has exhibited on the big stage.

He first shot into the headlines in 2014 when he finished fourth at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. He then went one better
with a podium finish in Beijing.

“I trained well. I must say I am well prepared,” said Mutai shortly before departure for London on Monday.

He however refused to commit himself on whether he would improve on his bronze.

“Athletics more so the marathon can be tricky. A lot depends on how you wake up on race day,” Mutai added.

It will be a busy day for Team Uganda with the men’s steeplechase also getting underway. In action will be Jacob Araptany, Boniface Sikowo and Albert Chemutai.

This is a championship of many firsts. For starters, this will be the first time both the men’s and women’s marathons will be staged on the same day of the biennial competition.

It will also be the first time ever at the Championships that marathon medals will be presented to winners outside of the main athletics stadium.

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