Just like his compatriot Stephen Kiprotich did four years ago at the London Olympics where he scaled Kenyan and Ethiopian hurdles to make history as the first Ugandan man to win an Olympic marathon gold, Timothy Toroitich will also be aiming to make a little piece of history at the fourth IAAF Bronze Label Okpekpe international 10km road race as the first Ugandan to win the title.
Kenyans have won two of the last three titles on offer courtesy Moses Masai’s win (29 mins 39 seconds) in 2013 at the inaugural edition of the race and Korio Alex Olotptip win last year while Ethiopia’s Teshome Mekonnen won in 2014, setting a new 28 minutes, 35 seconds All-Nigeria and Course record.
Toroitich,whose first attempt at the Okpekpe title was thwarted by Masai at the inaugural edition of the race and had to settle for the silver medal is one of the six gold level elite male runners confirmed for tomorrow’s race and will have to contend with the Kenyan duo of Simon Cheprot and
Edwin Kiprop Kiptoo who placed sixth and ninth respectively and won a team gold at the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships in
Cardiff,Wales last March and Morris Munene Gachaga who is the only man in the elite race cast to have broken 28 minutes this year.
Also ready to gatecrash the Kenyan and Ethiopian party is South Africa’s Gladwin Mzazi who,like the Kenyans is also a gold level elite runner. Mzazi will draw inspiration from his countryman, Josia Thugwane who defied the Kenyan, Ethiopian and Asian odds to win the Olympic marathon gold in 1996.