Fresh from winning a gold medal at the on-going Commonwealth Games, Victor Kiplangat has said he is glad his choice of running in Birmingham than the 2022 World Athletics championship in US has paid off.
Few days ago Kiplangat became the first Ugandan to win a gold medal in Marathon at a Commonwealth Games.
Kiplangat revealed that the National Athletics governing body- UAF offered him one option, either to participate in the World championships or the Commonwealth Games, but he chose the latter.
The 22-year-old said he chose to give up on the World championships because it was too early for him to participate in the US when he had just returned from the Haspa Marathon Hamburg, in April 2022, where he had finished fourth.
Although there are no cash prizes for medals won at the Commonwealth Games, athletes bag US70,000 for winning gold at the World Championships.
Kiplangat also explained that although he felt pain in his right leg towards the last kilometers, it did not stop him from pushing for the gold medal, adding that he had already set his mind that ‘it was his day”.
Long star runner Joshua Cheptegei, arguably, Uganda’s most decorated athlete has also joined tens of thousands of people to commend his compatriot Kiplangat for raising the national flag.
Cheptegei, who is also a Commonwealth gold medalist over the 10000m and 5000m said, it is such moments that write Uganda’s name on the list of top long distances performers, unlike before when Uganda could barely be recognized.
In an interview, distances coach Peter Chelangat who saw Kiplangat growing up in Kapchorwa says it was no surprise seeing the runner for him that, the 22-year-old managed to pull off a gold medal.
“Basically, for me, I knew he could miss number 1, 2, or 3 because he had one of the best times this season, he is a brother to Jacob Kiplimo, and Oscar Chelimo, I always call them the Simba brothers, from the same father but different mothers, they all have good talents that’s why they performing,” Coach Chelangat narrated.
In the same development, the outgoing sports Minister for state, Hamson Obua also applauded the gold winner.
“Team Uganda has started on a high note and for me, am happy as I conclude as State Minister of Sports,” said Obua.
Meanwhile, the national netball team, She Cranes will be hoping to make amends when they meet Trinidad and Tobago in their second pool B game at the National Exhibition Centre – NEC in Birmingham on Sunday night.
In their opening match the She Cranes lost 40-53 to giants New Zealand yesterday.
She Cranes Fixtures
Saturday, July 30- New Zealand 53-40 Uganda
Sunday, July 31- Uganda vs Trinidad & Tobago
Tuesday, August 2- England vs Uganda
Wednesday, August 3- Uganda vs Northern Ireland
Thursday, August 4- Malawi vs Uganda