For the traditionalists, the 2018 Commonwealth Games get underway at Carrara Stadium today.
The history of these Games – like the Olympics - have long been defined by events on the track and with athletics getting started today, you can forgive the purists for harbouring that sentimental feeling.
Uganda’s most glorious moments in the history of the Commonwealth Games have come in the boxing ring with athletics unsurprisingly not far behind.
Five of the 13 gold medals the country has won at the Games were in athletics and the first ever two were won in this country 12 years ago.
Back in 2006 in Melbourne, Boniface Kiprop and Dorcus Inzikuru became Uganda’s first ever athletics gold medalists in the Commonwealth Games after winning the 3000m women’s steeplechase and 10000m men’s events respectively.
Tonight the 10,000m IAAF World Championship silver medalist from 2017 Joshua Cheptegei hits the track hoping to walk in the footsteps of Inzikuru and Kiprop by winning Uganda gold Down Under.
Brightest medal hope
Cheptegei won’t be the only Ugandan athlete on the track but he is by some distance the country’s brightest medal hope. Uganda has not failed to win gold at the last three Commonwealth editions and it is only logical that Cheptegei as the country’s foremost long distance runner today shoulders medal expectations.
Having announced himself on the global scene by winning 10,000m junior gold as a teenager, he has continued his meteoric rise to a level where he can now scent world dominance.
Long distance double
His 2017 World Cross-Country catastrophe well and truly behind him, Cheptegei will be seeking to become only the second Ugandan to have won 5000m Commonwealth Gold – the first being Moses Kipsiro from the 2010 edition in New Delhi.
Kipsiro did go on to claim an historic long distance double and should Cheptegei claim gold tonight, he will be firmly on course to emulate Kipsiro’s remarkable feat.
Joining Cheptegei will be Thomas Ayeko and Philip Kipyeko as Uganda’s other competitors in the 5000m race.
Sprinter Scovia Ayikoru will meanwhile be the first Ugandan athlete on the track when she lines up in the second heat of the first round of women’s 100m.
At the Gold Coast Convention Centre, the She Cranes credentials will be tested yet again when they lock horns with England. The Peace Proscovia-led side lost their opener against New Zealand 64-51.