UAF picks Kiprop over Kiplangat for Oregon Worlds

Victor Kiplangat during the warm-up at the Hamburg Marathon in April. PHOTO | NN RUNNING TEAM

Victor Kiplangat will not compete at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, USA next month.

Uganda’s second fastest marathoner ever will not run the 42km race at the West Coast on July 17 despite being automatically qualified.

His senior training partner Stephen Kissa too isn’t selected for that event which will start and end in front of the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium.

That’s despite the two runners being the best qualified in the quest for Uganda’s three quota slots over the window from November 30, 2020 to May 29, 2022.

A total of nine men including the 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich beat the qualifying standard of two hours, 11 minutes and 30 seconds within that period to the Oregon Worlds.

On April 24, Kissa debuted in style by breaking the national record to 2:04:48 as he finished second at the Hamburg Marathon in Germany. In the same race, 2021 Istanbul Marathon champion Kiplangat posted 2:05:09 in third place.

But, it is third-ranked Filex Chemonges, fourth-ranked Fred Musobo and sixth-placed Jackson Kiprop who will run the 42km race in Oregon, according to Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF).

“First, ranking was considered,” UAF general secretary Beatrice Ayikoru explained the choices. “The coach decided that the first two were not ready,” she said.

Kissa and Kiplangat share a coach in Dutchman Addy Ruiter, a key architect of the Global Sports Communication camp in Kapchorwa.

The argument in the choice not to compete in Oregon is that the pair won’t have recovered their bodies just 84 days after Hamburg.

Ideally, a professional marathoner should do just two full marathons a year, usually six months apart.

It means that 2013 Mumbai Marathon champion Kiprop, who held Kiprotich to win the 2013 world marathon title in Russian capital Moscow, is back to the Worlds having last competed at the 2015 Beijing edition.

Former national record holder Chemonges will hope for a sweet debut. Uganda has not won a marathon medal at the Worlds' since Solomon Mutai's bronze after braving the beaming heat of the Chinese capital seven years ago. 

However, Kissa will still head to Oregon having qualified over the 10000m. He could still be Joshua Cheptegei’s key support cast as the latter bids to defend his 25-lap world title at the Hayward Field on July 17 too.

This paper understands that Kiplangat will instead run the 42km race at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games on July 30 with the starting point at Smithfield, UK.

A total 16 runners including world half-marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo and world 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi are qualified for the Oregon Worlds.

Others like Mercyline Chelangat came second behind Prisca Chesang during National Track & Field Championships at Namboole last weekend. 

"I have endurance but I am only lacking speed," Chelangat told this paper after posting 15:41.30.

The Oregon group could be joined by sprinters 200m national record holder US-based Tarsis Orogot and 400m national champion Shida Leni who are likely to get wildcards after all global qualification data is sealed today.

At the previous Worlds in Qatar capital Doha, Uganda presented its biggest contingent ever of 22 athletes. Uganda has won eight medals in history.

OREGON 2022 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

MEN’S MARATHON - QUALIFICATION STANDINGS

Stephen Kissa: 2nd, Hamburg Marathon (2:04:48) on Apr 24, 2022

Victor Kiplangat: 4th, Hamburg Marathon (2:05:09) on Apr 24, 2022

Filex Chemonges: 9th, Barcelona Marathon (2:07:19) on Nov 7, 2021

Fred Musobo: 15th, Siena Marathon (2:08:24) on Apr 11, 2021

Jackson Kiprop: 4th, Košice Marathon (2:08:28) on Oct 3, 2021

Stephen Kiprotich: 5th, Enschede Marathon (2:09:04) on Apr 18, 2021

Geofrey Kusuro: 2nd, Enschede Marathon (2:09:23) on Apr 24, 2022

Martin Musau: 1st Hamburg Marathon (2:10:15) on Sep 12, 2021

Solomon Mutai: 3rd, Istanbul Marathon (2:10:25) on Nov 7, 2021

Qualifying window: Nov 30, 2020 - May 29, 2022

TEAM UGANDA TO OREGON WORLDS:

Women: Halimah Nakaayi (800m), Winnie Nanyondo (1500m), Peruth Chemutai (3000m Steeplechase), Esther Chebet (5000m), Mercyline Chelangat (10000m), Stella Chesang (10000m), Immaculate Chemutai (Marathon)

Men: Ronald Musagala (1500m), Peter Maru (5000m), Oscar Chelimo (5000m), Jacob Kiplimo (10000m), Stephen Kissa (10000m), Joshua Cheptegei (5000m & 10000m), Filex Chemonges, Fred Musobo & Jackson Kiprop (Marathon)

UGANDA’S MEDALS AT THE WORLDS

Athens 1997: Davis Kamoga (Silver, 400m)  

Helsinki 2005: Dorcus Inzikuru (Gold, 3000m SC) 

Osaka 2007: Moses Kipsiro (Bronze, 5000m)

Moscow 2013: Stephen Kiprotich (Gold, Marathon)

Beijing 2015: Solomon Mutai (Bronze, Marathon)

London 2017: Joshua Cheptegei (Silver, 10000m)

Doha 2019: Halimah Nakaayi (Gold, 800m)

Doha 2019: Joshua Cheptegei (Gold, 10000m)

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