“We have a pretty young team for the seniors so the focus is about gaining exposure."
(Credit: Michael Nsubuga)
EVENT: World Cross Country Championship
HOST: Kampala, UGANDA
VENUE: Kololo Independence Grounds
DATE: This Sunday (March 26)
For Canada's Brogan Macdougall, success will not be making the podium of the women's junior race in Sunday's IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
"I don't know if anyone in our team can really compete with the African countries," humbly concedes the 16-year-old in the lobby of Hotel Africana, where Canada's 29-member contingent resides.
"I'm kind of hoping (to finish in) the top 30 but I have never done a race this big so I don't know," she adds with adorable meekness.
Canada, like many other countries with no realistic hopes of making the podium in any of the races, have come with a full team.
That they have done so despite the cold facts is a testament to the pure spirit of sport. That is, there is more to Sunday's event than gold, silver and bronze.
"For us, it's about doing the best you can and letting you be you," Macdougall explains.
That is probably how the majority of Japan's athletes feel. Like team coach Yoshi Iwimizu revealed in an interview with New Vision Thursday.
"We have a pretty young team for the seniors so the focus is about gaining exposure," Iwimizu explains.
"In the junior races, we are more hopeful of competing and placing as high as we can."
Talk of medals is, of course, off limits because the reality is it will be tough for anybody to infringe on the Kenya-Ethiopia duopoly.
The two countries have basically turned these championships into a bi-lateral affair so the likes of Canada and Japan have nothing to be ashamed of.
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