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Thursday,December 03,2020 23:12 PM

Kiprop off to Fukuoka

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th March 2006 03:00 AM

Louis Jadwong
in Melbourne, Australia

COMMONWEALTH Games 10000m champion Boniface Kiprop left Melbourne for Japan confident he would improve on his 7th place finish at last year’s World Cross-country Championships.

Louis Jadwong
in Melbourne, Australia

COMMONWEALTH Games 10000m champion Boniface Kiprop left Melbourne for Japan confident he would improve on his 7th place finish at last year’s World Cross-country Championships.

Louis Jadwong
in Melbourne, Australia

Fukuoka CC 2006
Individual prizes
1st $30,000
2nd 15,000
3rd 10,000
4th 7,000
5th 5,000
6th 3,000

Teams prizes
1st $20,000
2nd 16,000
3rd 12,000
4th 10,000
5th 8,000
6th 4,000

COMMONWEALTH Games 10000m champion Boniface Kiprop left Melbourne for Japan confident he would improve on his 7th place finish at last year’s World Cross-country Championships.

“Seventh place last year was good for me since it was my first race in the seniors. But this time, I should do much better since I am a Commonwealth champion,” Kiprop said here before he flew out last night for this weekend’s 34th IAAF World Cross-country in Fukuoka.

Soon after winning gold last Saturday, Kiprop sent a warning to the world’s best long distance runner, Ethiopia’s Bekele. Bekele, is a four-time world cross country short and long race double gold medalist.

Kiprop will contest only the long distance race (12km) together with Wilson Busienei. Moses Kipsiro is expected to attempt the short distance of 4km. Running machine Bekele will again go for title in both the 4km race on Saturday and the 12km on Sunday.

Apart from Kiprop who was seventh last year, Bekele faces a stiff challenge from world steeplechase champion Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar who came eighth in the St Etienne race. Shaheen has been in camp in Kenya together with Inzikuru’s coach Renato Canova who handles the Qatar athletics team.

The Kenyans, also buoyed by their strong performances in the middle and long distance races in Melbourne, are targeting Bekele especially in the 4km race. They will be led by Augustine Choge who won the 5000m gold and bronze medalist Benjamin Limo.

After running for national pride at the Commonwealth Games, the athletes have a chance to increase their bank accounts in Fukuoka that will hold the last cross country in the short and long distance format. Next year they will be one long race.

Kiprop could walk off $30,000(sh55m) richer if he repeats his Melbourne heroics and finally beats Bekele on Sunday.

International kit manufacturers PUMA and National Council of Sports have meanwhile, boosted Uganda’s ever biggest contingent to the 34th IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Athletes who missed the Melbourne games depart today led by UAF treasurer Godfrey Nuwagaba. He is expected to woo sponsors for the Ugandan teams while in Fukuoka.

Athletics federation secretary Beatrice Ayikoru confirmed 11 athletes fly out tonight for Dubai, joining the trio of Busienei, Kiprop and Kipsiro, who flew direct from Melbourne yesterday for the event.

“We have been able to source for funds. Council has given us a boost and the same with Puma, who on top of dressing the national team, have also contributed to the air tickets. We have also been able to get funds from our different friends,” explained Ayikoru.

Uganda will enter teams in all men events; the junior (8km), short (4km) and senior (12km).

Teams: Senior teams; 12km
B. Kiprop, W. Busienei, M. Kipsiro, I. Kiprop, M. Aliwa, S. Kosgei.

Seniors 4km: B. Siwa, W. Busienei, M. Kipsiro, S. Ayiekho, B. Kiplagat

Junior 8km: G. Kusiro, N. Kwemoi, S. Kiproitich and F. Arapsudi

Kiprop off to Fukuoka

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