Athletics. Musagala only took the lead with about a kilometre to go after steeplechaser Jacob Araptany dictated pace in the opening stages of the race
Ronald Musagala believes Team Uganda stands a chance to win the mixed relay event when the IAAF World Cross-country Championships take place on March 26 in Kampala.
The middle-distance runner weighed his nation’s chances after beating a field of over 40 runners to win the National Qualifier for the relay at Kololo Independence Grounds on Saturday.
Taking one lap of 2km, Musagala ran a comfortable race, clocking a best time of five minutes and 2.50 seconds on the cold morning.
“It was easy for me,” the 24-year-old told Daily Monitor moments after his race. “My body responded whenever I wanted it to. It was nice,”
Musagala only took the lead with about a kilometre to go after steeplechaser Jacob Araptany had led in the opening stages. Prisons’ Geoffrey Luto came second in 5:05.01 while Musagala’s training partner Abu Mayanja was third in 5:04.51 to complete the coveted top three positions.
“Looking at the guys who have made the team, I believe we can do something at the World Cross-country,” Musagala noted. “And the ladies’ team gives us even greater motivation so we will go and polish,” added the 1,500m National Record (NR) holder.
Prisons’ Dorcus Ajok surged past Winnie Nanyondo with 25 metres left to win the women’s race in 5:48.63. Esther Chebet came third after 5:51.14.
“It is an important win considering I had an accident recently,” Ajok said in her post-race interview.
The 2014 Commonwealth 800m bronze medallist Nanyondo complained of the weather. “It was cold but I could have done better.”
IAAF WORLD CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPS
NATIONAL RELAY TEAM QUALIFIERS
1 Ronald Musagala (UWA) 5:02.50
2 Geoffrey Luto (Prisons) 5:03.01
3 Abu Mayanja (UWA) 5:04.51
1 Dorcus Ajok (Prisons) 5:48.63
2 Winnie Nanyondo (UWA) 5:50.35
3 Esther Chebet (Serere) 5:51.14