Travel restrictions cloud Cheptegei, Nakaayi’s plans

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Ugandans Joshua Cheptegei and Halimah Nakaayi are part of the world champions’ list that was invited early this month by organisers of the Monaco Diamond League due next month.
World 10000m champion Cheptegei and 800m queen Nakaayi are set to compete in the first event of the remodelled Wanda Diamond League calendar on August 14.
But travel restrictions are clouding their preparations for the trip to France.
This is after President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday announced that borders and Entebbe Airport remain shut “until the situation abroad settles, because there is so much chaos in some of these countries abroad”.
“It remains a challenge,” the duo’s manager Jurrie van der Velden said. 
“We’ve reached out to the Ugandan government and various sports authorities to request for their help. It’s time now for the Ugandan government to do something back for these exceptional athletes in order for them to travel.”
Last year, Cheptegei took part in four races on the DL circuit and won two of them including the 5000m title in Zurich, Switzerland on August 29, 2019.
He broke the 5km world record (WR) at the Monaco Run 5K on February 16 and on his return to Monaco, the plan is to break the 5000m WR at the Stade Louis II track.
“We are shooting for the WR. Monaco usually has very good weather conditions and a great track,” stated Jurrie early this month.
The current WR over the 12-and-a-half-lap race is at 12:37.45 which was set by Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele on May 31, 2004 in Hengelo, Netherlands.

Date of birth: September 12, 1996
Major Races: 5000m, 10000m
Personal Bests: 5000m (12:57.41), 10000m (26:48.36)
Coach: Addy Ruiter
Manager: Jurrie van der Velden
Kit Sponsor: Nike

Date of birth: October 14, 1994
Major event: 800m
Club: Uganda Wildlife Authority
Personal Best: 1:58.04
Coaches: Raphael Kasaija, Addy Ruiter
Manager: Jurrie van der Velden
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: 07/24/2020