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Kiprop at crossroads

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th November 2003 03:00 AM

BONIFACE Kiprop is torn between going for a possible junior cross-country gold and upgrading to the lucrative senior men’s race at the world cross-country due in Brussels in March.

BONIFACE Kiprop is torn between going for a possible junior cross-country gold and upgrading to the lucrative senior men’s race at the world cross-country due in Brussels in March.

By James Bakama

BONIFACE Kiprop is torn between going for a possible junior cross-country gold and upgrading to the lucrative senior men’s race at the world cross-country due in Brussels in March.

“It’s a very tough decision that he is yet to make,” revealed the 2002 world junior cross-country silver medallist’s coach Godfrey Nuwagaba.

The top eight finishers in all the short and long senior men and women’s races win cash prizes.

Each of the winners earns $40,000 (sh80m). The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) however prohibits juniors from cash prizes.

That Kiprop wound up the season as the world’s tenth fastest athlete in the 10,000 meters, is partly the reason the teenager feels that he can also take on the senior men’s cross-country cream.

Kiprop’s confidence is further boosted by his superb run at the last world cross-country in Lausanne.

Kiprop dominated the eight-kilometre competition only to be beaten to the tape in a final sprint of a race whose lap times were far faster than the senior men’s event.

A successful track season where he won both the 5000 and 10000m junior races on top of a bronze in the 25-lap race at the Afro-Asian Games, is more reason for Kiprop to consider venturing into the seniors’ domain.

Kiprop, 18, will in Brussels have vast cross-country experience. He holds the record of being one of the youngest world cross-country finishers following his 2000 run as a 15-year-old in Vilamoura, Portugal.

The Standard High School student finished 27th that time before propping Uganda to a third bronze medal early this year in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Kiprop, who is managed by a Briton Kim Macdonald and sponsored by Puma, ends a one month rest next week to start plotting for Brussels.

Kiprop at crossroads

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