KAMPALA- Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei is almost certainly Uganda’s best hope for an individual senior medal at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships due March 26 at Kololo Independence Grounds.
The 2014 world U-20 10,000m champion, who also won the national trials last weekend, scored another noteworthy victory in the senior men 10.8km race at the Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza in Elgoibar on Sunday.
He crossed the finish line in 31:50 to become the second Ugandan winner in this race’s history after teammate Timothy Toroitich in 2014.
After breaking up the pack with 18 minutes on the clock, Cheptegei made his decisive move in the eighth kilometre to move clear of reigning champion Aweke Ayalew from Bahrain and former winner Teklemariam Medhin from Eritrea.
“I am hard pressed to comment on our strengths right now but there is no doubt we are heavily counting on Joshua (for a medal),” coach Benjamin Longiross told Daily Monitor yesterday.
“When Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) holds the mixed relay trials on February 18, we shall use that time to continue to evaluate the team better for team medals.
“However, we are going to monitor them more in camp because we have no other trials,” added the former Olympian, who will head Team Uganda’s residential camp in Kapchorwa.Meanwhile, Fred Musobo, another member of the senior men squad, clocked 33:57 to finish third in the 85th edition of the Cinque Mulini, the sixth leg of the IAAF Cross Country Permit circuit, in San Vittore Olona - Italy on Sunday.