Kiplimo, Nanyondo on track in Ostrava today

By Maurice Okore

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Uganda's long-distance and medium distance runners Jacob Kiplimo and Winnie Nanyondo get another opportunity to shine on the track when they compete in the 59th Ostrava Golden Spike in the Czech Republic today.

Kiplimo who will compete in the 5,000m race will be hoping to build on his 10km win recorded at the Simplyhealthy Great Manchester Run last year, while Nanyondo will be looking to perform better than she did at the Monaco Diamond League last month.

In Manchester, Kiplimo hit the front early and never looked back as he came home in a time of 27:31 - the fourth-fastest time for 10km on the roads last year.

The World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting earlier scheduled for May and postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, attracts some of the biggest names in the world athletics.

According to Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) president Dominic Otuchet the two travelled on Saturday and arrived yesterday ready for their races at the Mestsky Stadium today.

"Kiplimo has been training in Kwen and Kapchorwa; I know he had an injury after the Manchester run, but that was last year. He recovered well from the injury and I expect him to perform well," Otuchet said.

"I know he is an athlete that can spring surprises when at his best. He doesn't fear competition- though his best competition is the longer 10000m race, but I know he will go for it and I expect him to perform well," Otuchet stated.

Nannyondo will get to the track at 19.38 about an hour after the official opening ceremony while Kiplimo will join the fray ten minutes later in the 5000m men's race.

Kenya's Stephen Cherono holds the meet's 5000m record of 12:48.81 set in 2003 while Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay holds the 1500m on of 4:00.96 set in 2017.

Tsegay is also the defending champion from last year with a time of 4:02.95, where Britain's Sarah McDonald and Ethiopia's Hawi Feysa made 4:03.79 and 4:04.13 in second and third places respectively.

Nanyondo is fresh from competing in the Diamond League where she crossed the finish line in 8th with a season's best of 2:36.54 in the 800m race.

The two Ugandan athletes will draw inspiration from World Championship record holder Joshua Cheptegei who smashed the 5000m record that had stood for 16 years, running the 12.5 laps of the Louis II stadium in a time of 12:35.36.

The Ostrava meeting will have a relatively full schedule of events, featuring domestic stars and other international athletes who are mostly based in Europe.