Wednesday, 6 July 2016

KCCA's Ayeko beats 10000m Olympic qualifying time at Namboole

Ayeko (left) thanks Toroitich for running a race that helped him qualify for Rio
today in Namaboole. PHOTO BY LOUIS JADWONG

The last event of day one of the National Athletics Championships turned out to be the highlight, with Thomas Ayeko running the 10,000m in 27.57.03 hit the Rio Olympics qualifying time.

KCCA athletics club's Ayeko benefited from the participation of 4 of 7 marathoners who have hit the Olympic qualifying time, plus 10000m ace Tim Toroitich who set a blistering pace. Ayeko joins 20 other Ugandans who have bettered the minimum Rio times.

Ayeko took over the lead in the last 7 laps to better the qualifying mark by 3 seconds. He however becomes the fourth athlete to hit the mark in the 10000m race. 

A maximum of three athletes are taken per race and Ayeko can only make the final team to Rio if Cheptgei pulls out of the 10000m.

Joshua Cheptgei (10000m and 5000m), Timothy Toroitich (10000m) and Moses Kurong (10000m) qualified with better times earlier. 

Day one of the national athletics championships Wednesday July 6 at Namboole saw several finals- long jump, shot put, 1500m and steeplecahse - but with times registered far below the Olympic qualifying times.

Day two is Thursday, and among the highlights is expected to be the 5000m men's final and women's 400m final.

Uganda will next month send her biggest contingent of track and field athletes to an Olympics. Up to 21 athletes have met the Olympic qualifying team, but with quotas set for all races, Uganda's team will feature at least 16 - three better than Seoul 1988.

"I think we have a good team that can better our performance at the London Olympics where we got one gold," athletics federation president Domenic Otuchet said in Kampala.  (see story Uganda to name team)

"This team looks solid enough to bring three medals, but to better London Olympics, one of them has to be gold." 

The toughest competition has been in the marathon, where eight athletes hit the qualifying mark - 7 men and 1 woman. Country's can field a maximum of 3 athletes per event.

Favorite to lead the marathon team is Olympic Champion Stephen Kiprotich.

Others - not in any particular ranking are - Solomon Munyo Mutai, Kiprop Jackson, Robert Chemonges, Abraham Kiplimo, Alex Cheskit and Moses Kipsiro. Uganda will send a team of 4 marathoners, three men and one woman - Adero Nyakesi. 

“We will pick the best depending on performance,” Uganda athletics chief Otuchet said early this year.

Kiprotich has run 2:07:46 and 2:06:33 in the Tokyo marathon (FULL STORY CLICK) where he finished 4th early this year. Chesakit has run 2:13:06, Mutai 2:10:42, Kiprop 2:15:16, Kiplimo has a best time of 2:09:23 in 2014 and Kipsiro clocked 2:15:48.

Jackson Kiprop finished 7th today in 29:20.1 in the 10000m,
Athletes who have qualified
Women 5: Winnie Nanyondo (800m), Stella Chesang (5,000m), Peruth Chemutai (3000mSC), Juliet Chekwel (10000m) and Adero Nyakesi (marathon)

Men marathon 7: Stephen Kiprotich, Solomon Munyo Mutai, Robert Chemonges, Kiprop Jackson, Abraham Kiplimo, Alex Cheskit and Moses Kipsiro.

Men other events 8: Joshua Cheptgei (10000m and 5000m), Timothy Toroitich (10,000m), Phillip Kipyeko ( 5,000m), Ronald Musagala (1,500m) and Benjamin Kiplagat (3,000m SC), Jacob Kiplimo (5,000m), Moses Kurong (10000m), Ayeko (10000m)


Countdown starts

The countdown to Rio 2016 has started. 

On Monday, the Olympic Games Rio 2016 Official Theme-Music video was released. Alma e Coração - Thiaguinho and Projota.


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