Athletes to wait for National Trials

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The athletics fraternity in Uganda is reeling from the lack of a home after the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) postponed its first event of the year.
UAF says it doesn’t have a place to stage the first National Track and Field Trials this weekend, an event where athletes can prepare in time for July’s Tokyo Olympic Games.
The body primarily organises its track competitions in Namboole Stadium but it is unavailable since the mid of last year and the second option - Kyambogo University - is as well occupied.
“The Uganda government has taken over both facilities temporarily in national interest turning Namboole Stadium a holding health facility for Covid-19 patients and Kyambogo, a national voting tally center for the Electoral Commission,” read part of a press brief by UAF’s Namayo Mawerere.
It means that several athletes continue to train individually but devoid of competitive events for almost a year.
Yet, World Athletics announced its track season which begins with the World Indoor Tour with the first event set for Karlsruhe, Germany on January 29.
Of the 21 athletes who have qualified for the quadrennial Games, 19 of them are runners including World Cross-country champion Joshua Cheptegei, World Half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo and world 800 champion Halimah Nakaayi.
“The federation regrets the sad decision but given the situation and national interest, it wasn’t a preferred option as preparation for Tokyo Olympics 2020 and other international competitions start in earnest.” 
“UAF however assures the athletics fraternity of making efforts to secure a venue and reach a ‘new normal’ for the subsequent competitions which include the second Trials due February 6,” added Mawerere.
Women: Halima Nakaayi (800m), Winnie Nanyondo (800m & 1500m), Peruth Chemutai (3000m steeplechase), Stella Chesang & Sarah Chelangat (5000m), Juliet Chekwel (Marathon)
Men: Ronald Musagala (1500m), Albert Chemutai (3000m Steeplechase), Stephen Kissa (5000m), Joshua Cheptegei & Abdallah Mande (10000m), *Fred Musobo, *Stephen Kiprotich, *Solomon Mutai, *Filex Chemonges, *Geoffrey Kusuro, *Jackson Kiprop & *Robert Chemonges (all Marathon)
*Only 3 can be allowed to compete

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This writer is a global broadcaster and as well scribe with Daily Monitor Newspaper and sports presenter with Radio One FM 90 in Kampala. Follow him on Twitter: @AllanDarren and his Facebook Page: Darren Allan Kyeyune

Published: 01/25/2021