One of Africa’s biggest races- the MTN Kampala Marathon will not take place this year because of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the sports world.
One of Africa's biggest races- the MTN Kampala Marathon will not take place this year because of the deadly disease.
"The marathon will not take place this year due to restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic," revealed MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte.
He was officiating at a function to reward Joshua Cheptegei for breaking the 5000m world record in Mbale on Wednesday when he broke the news.
Despite stringent Standard Operating Procedures deaths continue rising in Uganda.
The marathon draws up to 20000 participants, making it prime ground for the spread of the disease if SOPs are not effectively enforced.
This will be the first time the event, usually held in late November, will not be staged since being launched in 2004.
Proceeds from the marathons that today total to several billions have been directed at varying humanitarian causes.
Kawempe referral hospital was one of the beneficiaries of these proceeds from the 2019 marathon.
MTN has despite the development nevertheless committed its continued support for the annual marathon.
"MTN remains committed to continue supporting this event and other Uganda Athletics Federation calendar activities, when we overcome this pandemic and the restrictions it has dictated on our lives," stated Vanhelleputte.
Numerous big marathons across the globe have been called off this season for similar reasons.
As the MTN CEO was making the announcement, Kapchorwa's main hospital was closed after half of its staff contracted the disease.
Hospital Superintendent Ayub Mugubo said the closure was also reached after a rise in deaths.
The decision was the reason the function to reward Cheptegei was changed from Kapchorwa to Mbale.
The marathon that draws entries from all over eastern Africa has been the springboard of numerous talents like Olympic and world champion Stephen Kiprotich and Dorcus Inzikuru.
Its organization has MTN teaming up with partners like Vision Group, Rwenzori Water, Stanbic Bank, Huawei, UAF, KCCA, and Uganda Police.