There’s only hope that the last three qualifying events for Ugandan athletes to the Commonwealth Games don’t disappoint.
During Saturday’s time trials at Namboole, apart from the inadequate organisation that saw short distance runs curtailed because of lack of a gun, the action on the track was also wanting. This was partly due to the absence of big name athletes.
Qualification too remained elusive for Games hopefuls Pius Adome (100m), sensational Godfrey Chanwengo (200m), Scovia Ayikoru (400m), Docus Ajok (800m) and Annet Chesang (5000m) despite coming so close.
Adome’s exciting 100 metres run fell short of a mere 36 micro-seconds after clocking 10.56. He was trying to qualify on two fronts as he also took part in the 200m race under smoldering heat.
“I can still qualify because I am not far off the mark,” Adome told Daily Monitor. Ayikoru can blame the lack of competition in 400 metres where she managed 53.6 with Stella Wanruku posting a distant 54-8 to emerge second. The solo run was still below the required time of 53.00.
Ajok too faced a similar challenge falling over 3 seconds off the required 2:01.50 qualifying standards in the 800 metres. She finished her race in 2:04.85 with her closest challenger, Nasiba Nabirye coming 4 seconds later. It was also a case of what if as Chanwengo’s poor finish in 400 metres was not good enough. Sam Opio had given him a good pace.
A disappointed coach Nalis Bigingo partly blamed the athletes for poor planning. “Normally, it’s hard to be fit at this time of the season but the Games in Australia were announced so early. There was no need to rest to avoid struggling,” Bigingo said.
CONFIRMED ATHLETES FOR CW GAMES
Shida Leni (400m), Winnie Nanyondo (1500m), Albert Chemutai (3000m steeplechase), Joshua Cheptegei (5000m and 10,000m), Jacob Kiplimo (5000m and 10,000m), Timothy Toroitich (10,000m), Mercyline Chelangat (10,000m) Marathoners (Robert Chemonges & Alex Chesakit)