Ugandan marathoner Kiprotich has an Olympic dreamBy SANDE BASHAIJA | Monday, March 19 2012 at 16:59
Many Ugandan athletes have failed the longevity test. After three to four years at the top, most of them fade off the scene quietly at a time they are expected to contend for world accolades.
Stephen Kiprotich believes he will not fall in this category. He is determined to beat the world’s best and stay at the top for as long as he can.
“I want to be a legend,” Kiprotich said after receiving his February Nile Special-Uspa sports personality of the month award on Friday.
“I want to be great and I know I can achieve it.”
Kiprotich received a plaque and UShs0.5m ($200) from Nile Breweries as a reward for his performance at the Tokyo Marathon where he beat the world’s best ever long distance runner Haile Gebrselassie enroute to finishing third.
Nile Breweries brand manager Timothy Kayondo and Uspa president Mark Namanya presented the awards during a dinner organised to celebrate Kiprotich’s feat at Lugogo.
"I am now very motivated,” the 23-year-old former 10,000m national champion revealed. "I believe I can win a medal at the Olympic Games.”
Kiprotich has only competed in three international marathons but his consistency gives him confidence to confront Kenyans and Ethiopians at the Olympics starting July 27 in London.
To win the award, Kiprotich saw off competition from weightlifter Ismail Katamba.
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Beyond the ballot