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World Cross Country: Cheptegei shoulders Uganda's medal hopes

By James Bakama

Added 3rd March 2017 02:49 PM

The best Uganda has achieved at the meet has been silver by Moses Kipsiro in 2009.

The best Uganda has achieved at the meet has been silver by Moses Kipsiro in 2009.

 

Athletes and coaches currently preparing for the March 26 event in Kapchorwa unanimously chose Cheptegei.

"He is not only a good athlete but also a good leader," noted coach Benjamin Longiros of the 2014 world junior 10000 meter champion.

 PHOTO: Cheptegei


Cheptegei will shoulder the unenviable task of leading Uganda to its first gold medal at the event.

The best Uganda has achieved at the meet has been silver by Moses Kipsiro in 2009.

Cheptegei, who is enjoying superb form, believes gold is an achievable target.

"We are set for the Ethiopians and Kenyans. We shall also have good home support," he stated after a recent training session.
In an incredible show of dominance, the senior men's team race has been won by Ethiopia or Kenya every year since 1981 in both the short and long races.

These nations have enjoyed a similar strangle-hold on the junior men's races since 1982.

In the senior men's 12 km race, Kenya won the world championships for an astounding 18 years in a row, from 1986 through 2003, a record of unequaled international success.

Likewise on the women's side, only one other nation has won the long team race since 1991: Portugal, in 1994. These African nations were not quite so dominant in the short races, but they have won every women's junior race since its introduction in 1989.

Team Uganda -Senior men : Joshua Cheptegei, Phillip Kipyeko, Abdallah Kibet Mande, Timothy Toroitich, Stephen Kiprotich, Stephen Kiisa, Fred Musobo and Mande Bushendich Senior women: Mercyline Chelangat,  Rachael Chebet, Dorcus Ajok, Doreen Chesang, Doreen Chemutai, Annet Chebet, Juliet Chekwel, Stella Chesang

U20 men:  Jacob Kiplimo, Titus Kwemoi, Victor Kiplangat, Elisha Chemutai, Kevin Kibet, Mathew Chepkrui, Anthony Ayeko and  Abel Chebet

U20 women: Peruth Chemutai, Janat Chemusto, Esther Chekwemoi, Sarah Chelangat, Scarlett Chemos, Adha Munguleya, Joy Cheptoek and Benna Sukuku.

Mixed relays  Men-Ronald Musagala, Geoffrey Ruto and Abu Mayanja. Women-Dorcas Ajok, Winnie Nanyondo and Esther Chebet.

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