KAMPALA- Peruth Chemutai’s final kick was worth reckoning. She pushed her small limbs like her life depended on the race.

Her final placing was seventh and although she didn’t pick any cash prize for her display, the Sebei Region athlete was delighted Uganda had nailed a team bronze in the junior women’s race at Sunday’s IAAF World Cross-country Championships in Kololo.

“Yeah, am happy,” a breathless Chemutai told Daily Monitor literally begging the journalists with her animations to interview someone else as she caught up with her breath.

“We have trained for two months together and we worked as a team.”

Her words were manifested by her time of 19.29 that was complimented by 14th placed Sarah Chelangat (20.13), 18th place finisher Adha Munguleya (20.33) and Janet Chemusto, who clocked 20.54, to finish 23rd as Uganda earned a 62-point result ranking.

That was as good as Uganda had managed and talk of home advantage quickly peeled off the fans’ lips as the other national teams turned in one fourth-place finish after another.

The Cheptegei show
The painful anti-climax of the day that saw Joshua Cheptegei fluff a 200-meter lead margin at the start of the final lap in the senior men’s race was saved by a team bronze.

Fate befell pre-event favourite Cheptegei (30.08), his tank running out of gas as he chased glory, a Presidential handshake and it was only miracle that he crossed the tape in 30th position, albeit wobbling like a the proverbial chicken that crossed the road amidst heavy traffic.

The World junior 10000m gold medalist’s placing, although not celebrated by the previously hoarse-voiced course that was packed to the rafters, turned out to be Uganda’s saviour for only the second team bronze medal and third overall on a day that promised so much but delivered too little.

Team Uganda was disqualified from fourth place worth $4,000 (Shs14m) in the mixed relay after Winnie Nanyondo and company altered their start-list.

Lack of teamwork put paid to Uganda’s chances especially in the junior men’s 8km race golden boy Jacob Kiplimo’s closest teammate was Kevin Kibet in 15th. Victor Kiplangat was in a further 18th whereas Mathew Job Chekurui settled for 22nd.

That paled in comparison to category champions Ethiopia who scored second, fourth, fifth and sixth place respectively to bag team gold. And silver medalists Kenya crossed the tape in third, seventh, eighth and 10th.

WORLD X-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
RESULTS: MIXED RELAY
1 Kenya 22:22
2 Ethiopia 22:30
3 Turkey 22:37
4 Bahrain 23:20
5 Morocco 24:02
JUNIOR WOMEN (6KM) INDIVIDUALS
1 Letesenbet Gidey (ETH) 18:24
2 Hawi Feysa (ETH) 18:57
3 Celliphine Chespol (KEN) 19:02
7 Peruth Chemutai (UGA) 19:28
14 Sarah Chelangat (UGA) 20:13
18 Adha Mungeleya (UGA) 20:33
23 Janat Chemusto (UGA) 20:54
TEAMS
1 Ethiopia - 19 points
2 Kenya - 20
3 Uganda - 62
4 Japan - 73
JUNIOR MEN (8KM) INDIVIDUALS
1 Jacob Kiplimo (UGA) 22:40
2 Amdework Walelegn (ETH) 22:43
3 Richard Kimunyan (KEN) 22:52
15 Kevin Kibet (UGA) 24:02
18 Victor Kiplangat (UGA) 24:29
22 Matthew Chepkiru (UGA) 24:37
23 Titus Kwemoi (UGA) 24:50
44 Elisha Chemutai (UGA) 25:54
TEAMS
1 Ethiopia - 17 points
2 Kenya - 28
3 Eritrea - 55
4 Uganda - 56
5 Morocco - 113
6 Tanzania - 137
SENIOR WOMEN (10KM) INDIVIDUALS
1 Irene Cheptai (KEN) 31:57
2 Alice Aprot (KEN) 32:01
3 Lillian Rengeruk (KEN) 32:11
12 Mercyline Chelangat (UGA) 33:29
16 Racheal Zena Chebet (UGA) 33:58
17 Stella Chesang (UGA) 34:27
20 Doreen Chemutai (UGA) 34:41
24 Doreen Chesang (UGA) 34:54
28 Emily Chebet (UGA) 35:17
TEAMS
1 Kenya - 10 points
2 Ethiopia - 45
3 Bahrain - 59
4 Uganda - 68
SENIOR MEN (10KM) INDIVIDUALS
1 Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) 28:24
2 Leonard Barsoton (KEN) 28:36
3 Abadi Hadis (ETH) 28:43
9 Timothy Toroitich (UGA) 29:10
16 Abdallah Mande (UGA) 29:25
17 Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 29:28
30 Joshua Cheptegei (UGA) 30:08
TEAMS
1 Ethiopia - 21 points
2 Kenya - 22
3 Uganda - 72

indawula@ug.nationmedia.com