Western Region can look to tomorrow’s National Cross-country Championships in Jinja with some optimism.
Not that the region will produce champions in the four competitive races on card (12km senior men, 8km junior men, 6km junior women and 8km senior women) but some exciting runners are coming through the ranks in this part of the country.
Ronald Byoruganda, barely 17, is one such runner that is likely to catch the eye of technical men if he makes it for tomorrow’s event at Jinja Golf Course. “We need about Shs2m to take two teams (junior women and senior men),” Western Region Athletics Association (WRAA) coach Geoffrey Kagwa said yesterday. “We expect our members and lovers of athletics to contribute to the cause.”
Kagwa has spent over one month with some of the runners on the team in a training camp and his efforts showed as some good running was on display during the WRAA Cross-country Championships held in Marumba, Rukungiri last Sunday.
Byoruganda, in particular, left spectators yearning for more with his refined running. Powering to the front at the gun, he covered the opening 2km lap with everyone chasing and many thought he would burn out.
The Kisoro District boy eventually finished second (28:37.63) behind Kanungu’s Alex Kamusime (28:29.72).
But the plaudits were reserved for the silver medalist, who the coach believed could have easily won had it not been for a recurrent injury.
After Dorothy Akampurira (23:08.37) won the junior women’s 6km race with Kisoro teammate Catherine Niwasasira (24:35.67) taking bronze, it was clear this district has some special talent.
While they enjoy the same high altitude conditions like Kapchorwa and Bukwo, the hub of Uganda’s distance running, support for the sport in Kisoro and South-western Uganda at large, is still lacking.