Teen trio impresses coach Ruiter

Ugandan teens are making a mark on the track. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Kiprop, 17, meanwhile improved his own personal best (PB) from 8:11.6 hand time to finish sixth in 7:55.90.

Coach Addy Ruiter may currently be handling the country’s most prized asset in Joshua Cheptegei. Yet, he still speaks of the future with utmost confidence.

Ruiter since arriving in Uganda in 2017 has built a talent identification plan in company of assistants Dennis Okudach and Feb Kibet and a handful represented Uganda at the 44th World Cross-country Championships in Bathurst, Australia last weekend.

The teenage trio of Dan Kibet, Prisca Chesang and Keneth Kiprop stayed over Down Under and while they didn’t win medals in Bathurst, they impressed their coach Ruiter at the Maurie Plant Meet in Melbourne yesterday.

Kibet missed the podium with a fourth place finish over the junior’s men’s 8km event in Bathurst but he improved by a place over the 3000m at Lakeside Stadium.

The 19-year-old posted a time of seven minutes and 50.11 seconds behind race winner Kenyan Ishmael Kipkirui and Australian Stewart McSweyn.

With the pacer asked for 61.5 seconds per lap, McSweyn, Kibet and Kipkurui followed quickly and even pulled away from the rest of the pack early. 

When the pacer dropped, McSweyn but was overtaken by the junior World Cross-country champion Kipkirui, eventually winning in 7:41.38. McSweyn posted 7:44.36 ahead of Kibet.

“The pace for Dan was in the beginning too fast,” Ruiter said. “Because of that, he slowed down a lot but still managed to finish on the podium.”

Kiprop, 17, meanwhile improved his own personal best (PB) from 8:11.6 hand time to finish sixth in 7:55.90.

“Kiprop improved his PB by more than 10 seconds. Then, he did a good job,” Ruiter reacted. Kiprop was sixth too as Kipkirui won in Bathurst.

Perhaps, Chesang, who finished eighth in the senior women’s 10km event in Bathurst, impressed the most.

The 19-year-old got a thumbs up from her manager Jurrie van der Velden after she came through in second place over the 3000m race won by Ethiopian Senayet Getachew.

Getachew, who won the junior women’s 6km event in Bathurst, won in a time of 8:46.54 while two-time world U20 5000m bronze medallist Chesang clocked 8:48.85, a new PB.

“Prisca ran a good race with, like you saw, a very fast last kilometre,” Ruiter added. According to Jurrie, the Ugandan trio will stay in Australia until the end of next week.



1 Senayet Getachew (ETH) 8:46.54

2 Prisca Chesang (UGA) 8:48.85

3 Nozomi Tanaka (JPN) 8:49.09

MEN’S 3000M

1 Ishmael Kipkirui (KEN) 7:41.38

2 Stewart McSweyn (AUS) 7:44.36

3 Dan Kibet (UGA) 7:50.11

6 Kenneth Kiprop (UGA) 7:55.90