IAAF offers Uganda’s Kiplagat wildcard to China Worlds

Kampala (Uganda), Aug 13 (IANS) The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has offered Uganda’s long distance runner Benjamin Kiplagat a wildcard to take part in the 2015 World Championships in Beijing from August 22-30.

Dominic Otuchet, president of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), said on Wednesday that Kiplagat’s special invitation now brings the number of Uganda’s athletes for the world event to 11, reports Xinhua.

“This is good news because Kiplagat has been working hard to try and qualify in 3,000m steeplechase,” added Otuchet.

He explained that IAAF normally gives special invitations to athletes who have been close to qualifying while considering their seasonal seeding.

“They required a certain number of athletes for that race and since they could not raise it then wildcards were offered for those that were close to qualification,” he added.

The 26-year old Kiplagat finished 14th at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Russia in the same 3,000m steeplechase race.

World marathon and Olympic gold winner Stephen Kiprotich will spearhead the Ugandan team that leaves on August 17. The team is still busy training in Bukwo, in eastern Uganda, ahead of the event.

“This is going to be one of the toughest World Championships because there is a lot at stake. I think I have prepared well and should be able to put up a good show,” Kiprotich said on Wednesday.

The team which will only have one female athlete Juliet Chekwel will however miss triple Commonwealth gold medallist Moses Ndiema Kipsiro who failed to beat the qualifying mark in either the 5,000 metre or 10,000m races.

Following is the Ugandan team: Stephen Kiprotich, Juliet Chekwel, Phillip Kipyeko, Jackson Kiprop, Ronald Musagala, Solomon Mutai, Moses Kibet, Joshua Cheptegei, Timothy Toroitich, Abraham Kiplimo, Benjamin Kiplagat.

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