By Modupe Oremule (Lagos): Renowned long distance race coach, Stephen Nuhu, on Tuesday lauded the performance of the Nigerian Army Athletics team to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cross Country Championships.
The race which featured no fewer than 557 athletes held from March 24 to March 26 at Kampala (Kololo) Uganda.
Nuhu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that it was a good idea that the army team was exposed at the race.
“Although the result posted by the team was not good enough, I felt if the army team trained well, they would have performed better.
“It is a good experience; it is good the country went as team because the last time we went individually.
“But it is good that the army team were exposed, they are still young and they need the experience,’’ he said.
Nigeria featured four males and five females in the senior men and women races where the Kenyans dominated.
Irene Chepet Cheptai of Kenya won the first place with 31:57, Alice Aprot Nawowuna came second position with a time of 32:01 and their compatriot, Lilian Kasait Rengerak third with 32:11 in the senior women category.
Nigeria’s Unity Amos came 87th position with a time of 42:48, Lorine Obilor came 92nd with 45:21, Hannah Adewale was 94th with 46:09.
Rose Lange returned 95th position with a time of 47:48 and Naomi Yunana did not finish the race.
In the senior men’s race, Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor came first with 28:24, Kenyan’s Leonard Barsoton won silver medal with 28:36 and Abadi Hadis of Ethiopia was third with 28:43.
Nigeria’s Hausamatu Sanusi came 116th with a time 35:12, Nanribet Raymond placed 124th with 36:19, Danjuma Stephen returned 126th position with 36:39 and Awal Gochin placed 129th with 38:18.
However, in the U-20 male, Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda won with a time of 22:40, Amdework Walelegn of Ethiopia came second with 22:43 and Kenya’s Richard Yator Kimunyan returned with a time of 22:52 for the third position.
In the U-20 female category, Gidey Leyesenbet of Ethiopia came first with 18:34 ahead of her compatriot, Hawi Feysa who finished with a time of 18:57, while Kenya’s Celliphine Chespol took the bronze medal with 19:02.
In the Mixed relay, Kenya dominated by winning with a time of 22:22, Ethiopia placed second by 22:30, while team Turkey was third with a time of 22:37.
The competition which had a total of 310, 000 dollars featured 30 nations.
NAN reports that the 2015 edition held in Guiyang (Qingzhen) People Republic of China on March 28.
The 2019 edition is scheduled for Aarhus, Denmark.