Ronald Musagala beat Ethiopia’s Bezabh Belay to win the Africa University Cross Country championships and also lead Uganda’s Kampala University to the team event gold medal at the Africa University Cross Country Championships that took place at Entebbe Golf Course on Sunday.
Winnie Nanyondo won the women’s event but a 2-3-4 finish from Ndejje University’s Dorcus Ajok, Annet Chebet and Prim Twikirize, saw them deny Kampala University a clean sweep of gold medals in both the individual and team events in an exciting race held on a challenging course.
Musagala put up a good run and by the 3km mark, he was in control of the race with Belay and Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei from Bugema University dictating the pace.
It all looked like he was just setting the pace for Belay, who looked confident and keeping a two meter gap just behind them in the 10.5km race but when they reached the 9.5km mark, Musagala sped off and he never looked behind as he strolled to victory in a time of 31 minutes 22.2 seconds, with Belay coming home over ten seconds after.
“It was a challenging course but I have been working on my endurance which has helped me a lot in this race,” said Musagala, who is a World Athletics Senior Championship 800m semi-finalist.
“It was too hot and the course was challenging,” Belay said.
It was a good result for Kampala University as Nannyondo also held on despite tough competition from Ndejje and Tswane University’s Thembi Baloyi to win.
It was always going to be close but her decision to sprint earlier than planned was enough to give her a huge gap of over 15 seconds as the middle distance runners also dominated the women event.
Nannyondo and Ajok are 800m and 1500m runners.
The race was a warm up for the World University Cross Country Championships which Uganda is set to host in March next year.
Results Individual category
Ronald Musagala (KU) 31:22.2
Bezabh Belay (ETH) 31:33.8
Joshua Cheptegei (Bugema) 32:26.2
Abu Mayanja (KU) 33:03.5
Martin Chemtingen (KU) 33:08.7
Winnie Nanyondo (KU) 21:29.7
Dorcus Ajok (Ndejje) 21:44.7
Annet Chebet (Ndejje) 21:54.7
Prim Twikirize (Ndejje) 22:10.4
Thembi Baloyi (RSA) 22:12.3
Kampala University 16 pts
Makerere University: 55 pts
Ndejje University 9pts
Tshwane University 22pts
Kampala University 25pts
By Norman Katende, The New Vision