Ugandan athletes have a chance of qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in Australia scheduled to take place in April 2018 at today’s MTN Kampala Marathon.

KAMPALA- The Kampala Marathon has grown in stature that it is expected to cross the Shs3b mark in gathering proceeds when the 14th edition takes place at Kololo Airstrip this morning.

The event, powered by telecommunication company MTN and organised by Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), is expected to have the biggest field in years with numbers soaring to more than 25000 participants. “It started as a small event but now it is a big one,” UAF president Dominic Otuchet said ahead of this year’s edition whose proceeds will go towards improving maternal health services in Kiswa and Komamboga health centers or replacing cancer-causing asbestos roofing in Kampala schools.

UAF already provided technical expertise for the pre-cursor MTN half-marathon in Mbale on October 22 as well as the wheelchair races last weekend.
The body is set to do more when participants line up for the 10km and 42km races in Kololo this morning.
Organisers also added the new 5km race mainly for children which projects a higher attendance.

But, like last year, the battle for silverware will be between Uganda’s elite runners against the rest of East Africa; mainly Kenya and Tanzania.

Ugandan dominance
Last year, Uganda dominated the event, sweeping the podium in all categories bar the women’s 42km race won by Kenyan Rael Japyator in 2:52:56 followed by counterparts Rosina Kibono and Monica Jepkorir. UAF announced middle-distance runners Ronald Musagala and Winnie Nanyondo, who featured at the London World Championships in August, will take part in the 10km race. Last year’s female 10km winner Mercyline Chelangat will not defend her title as she is in Netherlands for the Seven Hills 15km Run in company of other Ugandans Joshua Cheptegei, Abel Sikowo and Stephen Kissa.

The bigger bunch of the foreign elite cast was announced by UAF yesterday. Kenya dominated the event in 2015, 2013, 2009 and 2006.

dkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com