KAMPALA.

Besides legendary Eusebio and Luis Figo, Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo is the other biggest sporting icon to ever emerge from Portugal.

All those come from football. Nelson Evora rose that European nation’s flag high in the athletics.

The lad with Ivory Coast decent the won triple jump title in Beijing 2008, giving Portugal their only fourth gold at the Olympics. All Portugal’s four Olympic golds are from athletics including Fernando Ribiero’s 10000m title at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Despite the not so rich athletics history, Portugal became the latest country to confirm participation at World Cross-country championships due March 26 in Kampala.

“UAE, Portugal and Belgium are among the countries that have confirmed participation in the #IAAFKampala2017 event as more countries show interest in the event,” Local Organising Committee (LOC) Head of Media Norman Katende said in a statement.

At the 2015 edition of the World x-country in Guiyang, China, Portugal was represented by a pair in the junior races. Fabio Gomes finished 93rd in the junior men’s 8km race, posting 27:31 out of 118 participants.

And, Joana Ferreira was 92nd after clocking 24:48 in the junior women’s 6km race. UAE and Belgium were not represented in China.

dkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com