WILL the 10000 meters give Uganda its first medal at the 14th World Athletics Championships that start this morning in Moscow?
By James Bakama in Moscow
World Athletics Championships
800m men’s heats (10.20am)
10000m men’s finals (5.55pm)
Uganda will be praying this question is answered in the affirmative when Moses Kipsiro, Thomas Ayeko and Timothy Toroitch line up for the men’s final of the 25 lap race this evening.
This will be the first final of the ten day event that has drawn 2000 athletes to the Russian capital.
Coach Benjamin Longiros believes the Ugandan trio can deliver an early gift in track and field’s premier competition.
“When you have a vastly experienced person like Kipsiro leading the team you have to be very optimistic,” said Longiros after a light training session yesterday.
800m runner Ronald Musagala relaxes in his hotel room upon arrival in Moscow after a tiring maiden flight. Photo by Norman Katende.
Kipsiro, a double Commonwealth gold medallist, brings a wealth of experience to the biennial competition where he won bronze in 2007.
But even more important, is the confidence that Longiros has in his team’s preparation.
“Everyone is fit. Also important, is the fact that race will be at a time of the day when Moscow is cool.”
Uganda will have to seriously watch out for Olympic champion Mohammed Farah (England) and the Ethiopian entrants Imane, Abera Kuma and Dejan Gebremskel. The four are the only ones in the final who have dipped under 27 minutes in the 10000m this year.
Moscow is currently in summer with temperatures at times stretching to 30 degrees centigrade.
Almost nine hours before Kipsiro, Toroitich and Ayeko battle in the final, another Ugandan will have competed in the heats.
Musagala and Benjamin Kiplagat's name tags for their respective races. Photo by Norman Katende
Ronald Musagala will be the first Ugandan in action. The Kampala University student, making a maiden appearance on the international scene, runs this morning in the men’s 800m heats.
Save for his first flight, which he described as very tiring, Musagala said he was set for action.
“My target is to not only qualify for the final, but also improve on my time,” said Musagala who will be in the second of six heats.
His prayers of running a good time might be affected by the absence of top stars such as Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos from Botswana, who withdrew due to injury.
The start list for the 10,000m courtesy of www.iaaf.org
Kipsiro, Musagala kick start medal hunt