Uganda falls short at ISF Worlds as Kenyans dominate

Ugandan athletes were overshadowed by Kenya during the weekend's ISF World Schools Cross Country Championships in Nairobi. PHOTOS/GEORGE KATONGOLE 

What you need to know:

A consistent showing saw Uganda finish second in team rankings scooping a silver medal.

Despite a strong showing in the team competition, Uganda secured just one individual podium finish at the ISF World Cross Country Championships held in Nairobi, Kenya over the weekend. Kenya dominated the individual races, sweeping all podium spots across the age groups.

Uganda entered the race as defending champions having dominated the races in Slovakia but with the race coming to Africa for the second time after Morocco hosted the event in 2000, only Caleb Chasinja Kibet got an individual medal, a bronze in the U12 boys' category.

Running 1,200 metres, Chasinja was behind Kenyan pair of Ezron Kimurgor (03:49.1) and Benjamin Shikuku (03:52.1). Isaiah Kwemboi, the other Uandan was closet in the 10th position in a time of 04:10.8.

Ugandan athletes with their Team silver medal from the ISF World Schools Cross Country Championships in Kenya. 

The event which had athletes compete across three age groups; U18, U15, and U12, within a single championship, saw Uganda field 44 athletes.

A consistent showing saw Uganda finish second in team rankings scooping a silver medal.

The Kenyan dominance cast a pale shadow of Uganda's performance last year in Slovakia where they won overall gold.

Team Captain Chebet Faith acknowledged the challenge presented by Kenya's strong team and emphasized the importance of continued training to improve.

“We should keep working hard when training because the competition we face is very talented and the only way we can beat them at races is by performing at our level best,” Chebet said.

Kenyan President William Ruto delivered a speech at the event, praising the spirit of sportsmanship and the opportunity for young athletes from various backgrounds to come together.

Uganda's solo gold medallist Chasinja at the ISF World Schools Cross Country in Nairobi over the weekend. 

“What we have here today is not just a competition. It is a celebration of our diversity, a celebration of our children, and a celebration of our talents. The children that have participated in this celebration, from different countries, from different cultures, from different parts of the world, have come together to compete in one race, to demonstrate our humanity, to demonstrate our oneness, and to confirm that the world is becoming a global village, and we all belong to that village,” said Ruto.

The International School Sport Federation (ISF) has a significant presence in Africa, with 36 of its 134 member countries hailing from the continent. Established in 1972, the ISF promotes sports participation among school children worldwide.

ISF World School X-Country Championships

U12 girls (1,200M)

Sheila Chepkosgei (Ken) - 03:59.7

Belinda Chepkorir (Ken) - 04:01.6

Dorcas Chelangat (Ken) - 04:04.5

11. Rachel Chelangat (UG) - 04:20.8

U12 boys (1,200M)

Ezron Kimurgor (Ken) - 03:49.1

Benjamin Shikuku (Ken) - 03:52.1

Caleb Chasinja (UG) - 03:54.0

U15 girls (2,400M)

Jane Wangari (Ken) - 00:07:41

Faith Jeptum (Ken) - 00:07:42

Clare Cheruto (Ken) - 00:07:43

9. Fausia Cheptoris (UG) - 00:07:59

U15 boys (3,400M)

Peter Lomuryon (Ken) - 00:10:19

Benson Tipapa (Ken) - 00:10:24

Dan Kibet (Ken) - 00:10:33

8. Brighton Kwemboi (UG) - 00:11:05

U18 girls (3,400M)

Diana Chepkemoi (Ken) - 00:10:48

Mary Nyaboke (Ken) - 00:10:52

Dorcus Chepkwemoi (Ken) - 00:10:53

6. Charity Cherop (UG) - 00:11:12

U18 boys (5,100M)

Phanuel Kipkosgei (Ken) - 00:14:40

Kevin Kiprop (Ken) - 00:14:44

Nelson Simiren (Ken) - 00:14:53

5. Jabeth Arapsatya (UG) - 00:15:00