Ugandan trio scoops titles in Netherlands, Spain and Japan

Tuesday November 19 2019

Major win. Stephen Kissa crosses the tape to

Major win. Stephen Kissa crosses the tape to win the Seven Hills Runs in Nijmegen on Sunday. COURTESY PHOTO  

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE

Stephen Kissa led Uganda’s perfect weekend after he maintained his form on road by conquering the Seven Hills Race in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Kissa ensured the 15km title was retained by a Ugandan for a fifth year running as he beat a pretty strong field to win in a time of 41 minutes and 47 seconds on Sunday.

“He’s a real road runner,” said his manager Jurrie van der Velden. This was Kissa’s second win and he has maintained a top-two finish in all four road races this year.

The previous four editions were won by Joshua Cheptegei who set a world record of 41:05 last year. Cheptegei is preparing to break the 10K world record in Spain next month.

“It was a 10-12 man strong race with a lot of 59’ half-marathon and 27’ 10K guys plus 2:03 marathoners.

Uganda’s delight did not stop there. In Japan, Geoffrey Kusuro ran a solo race to win the ninth Kobe Marathon in a new course record time of 2:08:46. The previous mark for this World Athletics Bronze Label Race was at 2.12.49.

“Kusuro had a 2:10 from the Ljubljana Marathon last year and this 2:08 on a tough course with no pacemakers is really a good performance.”

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In Spain, Maxwell Rotich was unmatched as he beat the field to take the men’s 10km title at the 26th ‘Cross Internacional de Soria’ in Soria.

Rotich posted 29 minutes and 16 seconds for the seventh straight victory by a Ugandan at this race since Dickson Huru in 2013. Timothy Toroitich won it from 2014 - 2016 whereas Jacob Kiplimo won in 2017 and 2018.

dkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com

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