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It is four years since a Ugandan last made it to the podium at the IAAF World Junior Championships. Two bronze medals from Jacob Araptany (3000m steeplechase) and Annet Negesa (800m) at the 2010 edition in Moncton, Canada were Uganda’s last joy at the competition.

Two years ago in Spanish city Barcelona, only Winnie Nanyondo came closest to the podium but finished last in the 800m final. In the early hours of today, the hunger for a medal is likely to be fed when two of the four country’s representatives Joshua Cheptegei and Abdallah Mande line up for the 10000m race of this year’s edition at the Hayward Field in Euguene, USA.

Of the 38 runners for 25-lap race, it is only Cheptegei who has run under 28 minutes when he clocked 27:56.26 in the Dutch town of Leiden last month. Mande’s 28:42.1 is second fastest behind Cheptegei’s and he is also a likely favourite for a medal.

Cheptegei, who won gold at World University Cross-country Championships at Entebbe Golf course in March, will try to emulate his countryman Boniface Kiprop and become the second Ugandan to win a gold medal at the Championships in the longest running event on the track.

dkyeyune@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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