Uganda Athletics Criticizes UWA for Overlapping Marathon Events

The fifth edition of the Source of the Nile Half Marathon in Jinja City showcased some of Uganda’s finest athletes, but the event was overshadowed by controversy as the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) expressed bitter disappointment towards the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for organizing a parallel marathon in Kampala on the same day.

UAF President Dominic Otucet condemned the overlapping events, emphasizing the importance of unity within the athletic community. “It’s wrong for UWA to host a race on the same day as ours, and we strongly condemn it,” stated Otucet. He criticized athletes who chose to participate in the Kampala marathon instead of the federation-sanctioned Source of the Nile Half Marathon, particularly those affiliated with national teams.

“We are going to engage UWA and other clubs and all other people who want to organize races without our clearance because we have been empowered by the new sports act and will take action against races organized without our consent,” Otucet declared, highlighting the federation’s commitment to enforcing regulations and maintaining the integrity of national-level competitions.

Despite the controversy, the Source of the Nile Half Marathon showcased exceptional talent, with Arua’s Kibet Mande Isaac clinching victory in the men’s category with a time of 1:04:48. Reflecting on his triumph, Mande expressed determination to continue his pursuit of excellence, setting his sights on the Olympics 2028 and aspiring to become a world champion.

In the women’s category, Annet Chelangat of the Uganda Wildlife Authority secured the gold medal, crossing the finish line in 1:13:50. She was followed by Karen Chemusto of the UPDF in second place with a time of 1:14:06, while Ruth Cheptoek, also from the UPDF, claimed the bronze with a time of 1:16:12.

Among the notable performers at the Source of the Nile Half Marathon were Kiptoo Philip, Kipsang David, Chelangat Rebecca, and Cheptegei Nancy, showcasing the depth of talent within Uganda’s athletic community.

As the fallout from the conflicting marathon events continues to unfold, the UAF’s stance underscores the importance of coordination and collaboration in organizing sporting competitions, ensuring fair opportunities for all athletes involved.

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