KAMPALA- Five Ugandans pocketed in excess of $115,500 (Shs423m) in prize money at the just-concluded IAAF Diamond League (DL) circuit.
Long-distance runner Joshua Cheptegei, steeplechaser Peruth Chemutai as well as middle-distance trio of Ronald Musagala, Halimah Nakaayi and Winnie Nanyondo gathered the sum from 16 races. The figure was completely tallied after Musagala came fourth behind Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot and Norwegian Ingebrigsten brothers Jakob and Filip in the men’s 1500m race at the Brussels Diamond League Meet last week.
Being a DL final, Musagala pocketed $6000 (Shs22m) and later on Friday night at the King Badoin Stadium in the Belgian capital, Nanyondo powered from fifth to finish third in the 800m. The 26-year-old collected $10000 (Shs37m) but overall, she finished the DL season with $27500 (Shs101m) from six of the eight races in which she took part.
According to the IAAF prize money structure, a DL event win is prized at $10000 (Doha to Paris) and a DL final (Zurich and Brussels’ Meets) earns $50000 (Shs185m) and it lowers up to the eighth positions. Cheptegei was rewarded with the latter after he became the first Ugandan to win a DL final in Zurich - the men’s 5000m - on August 29 in Switzerland.
Only events where participants score ranking points are considered which means others on the DL circuit outside Zurich and Brussels may not take up the lucrative pay.
The World Cross-country champion Cheptegei collected most prize money of $60,500 (Shs222m) from four races but all remains subject to tax, cost cuts and the undisclosed contract sharing with his Dutch management Global Sports Communication (GSC).
This is the same for the rest other four whom all fall under GSC. For his 1500m victory in Paris last month ($10000) and fifth place at the Lausanne Meet in July ($2500), Musagala pocketed a total $18500 (Shs68m). Nakaayi’s fifth place at the Rabat Meet in Morocco on June 15 and eighth in Birmingham over the 800m earned her $2500 (Shs9.1m) and $1000 (Shs3.7m) respectively for a total $3500 (Shs12.8m).
Steeplechaser Chemutai’s third place in Shanghai and seventh place in Oslo earned her $4,000 (Shs14.8m) and $1500 (Shs5.6m) for a combined $5,500 (Shs20m).
A total 15 Ugandan runners took part in 13 of the 14 Meets across four continents this year.
PRIZE MONEY FOR UGANDANS
Joshua Cheptegei: $60500 (Shs222m)
Winnie Nanyondo: $27500 (Shs101m)
Ronald Musagala: $18500 (Shs68m)
Peruth Chemutai: $5500 (Shs20m)
Halimah Nakaayi: $3500 (Shs12.8m)