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Athletes gear up for Kampala 2017 selection meets

Athletes gear up for Kampala 2017 selection meets

Ugandan runners have stepped up training ahead of the battle for slots on the national team that will represent the country to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017.

A team of 35 athletes is training at the high altitude camp in Bukwo ahead of the National Cross Country Championships, which will be used to select the national team.   The national event is due January 14 at Kololo Independence Ground and will also be a dress rehearsal for the Local Organising Committee ahead of the world event.

Top runners that Include Timothy Toroitich, Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Araptany, Philip Kiplimo among others have been in camp for the last one month under the guidance of national head coach Benjamin Longiros.

 “This is not the final team to the event. The athletes were selected basing on their performance in different events last year. We felt that it would be better that we work on their endurance, speed and other technical aspects but they will have to complete against others that are not on the team. The top athletes will take the day and will be called for the national team,” explained Longiros.

Africa junior cross country champions, who will be running in the senior category, Joshua Cheptegei was optimistic of Uganda’s performance in the world event.

“All the focus will be on Team Uganda and we have to give it all that we have to ensure that as hosts, we do not leave Kololo empty handed. We are working hard to see that we are in form to challenge the world and this starts on January 14,” said Cheptegei.

Uganda is hosting the World Cross Country Championships on March 26, 2017 at Kololo Independence Grounds and over 80 countries and 700 athletes are expected to grace the occasion.

There is a cash package of sh1.4b which will be offered to the top runners in the relays and the senior men and senior women individual and team categories. Junior categories do not get cash prizes according to IAAF rules and regulations.