The 3,000m steeplechase race was made for Kenya. It is the only event where they successfully get a 1-2-3 and even the world records are held by Kenyan born runners.
For anything one would imagine to do easily, the water-jump race falls in that for Kenya.
Over the years, Uganda has fed on the steeplechase bread crumbs left by Kenya like when Peruth Chemutai rose to take silver at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Finland on July 13.
It was her reward for consistency that has seen the humble runner scoop double silver at the 2015 Commonwealth Games in Samoa.
She featured at the Rio Olympics at the age of 17 and has a run a personal best every year from 10:19.93 in 2015 lowering 9:27.72 of 2017.
Chemutai ran a new PB thrice with the latest being 9:07.94 as she came sixth in the Monaco Diamond League on July 20.
Such is the form she carries to the blue tartan of the Stephen Keshi Stadium when she lines-up for the women’s steeplechase final on the final day of the 21st Africa Senior Athletics Championships today.
Chemutai will be bidding to add to her medal cabinet and a podium finish will earn Uganda’s it’s only second steeplechase medal after Benjamin Kiplagat’s bronze in Porto-Novo, Benin six years ago.
However, Chemutai’s star is in the shadow of a strong field that has race favourites Kenyans World Record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, Fancy Cherono and World junior record holder and champion Celliphine Chespol.
Chepsol beat Chemutai on Tampere Stadium track in Finland whereas Chepkoech’s blistering show was also in Monaco.
The Ugandan teenager will hope familiarity breeds contempt. Later, a polished Stephen Kissa and Kevin Kibet will feature in the men’s 5000m final. Meanwhile, Ugandan Shida Leni came sixth in the women’s 400m final after 52.78 seconds as South African Caster Semenya claimed the title on Friday.
“Considering my time, I don’t think I deserved to be in lane 8,” Leni, who had broken the 400m national record four times between February and July, complained after the race.
Another Ugandan Winnie Nanyondo was fifth in the 1500m final.