Sports

Inzikuru returns: Qualifies for London 2012 Olympics

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By Norman Katende

3.000m Steeplechase

1. Dorcus Inzikuru (UGA) 9:30.95

2. Almaz Ayana (KEN) 9:38.62

3. Svetlana Kudzelich (BLR) 9:39.43

Former World and Commonwealth steeplechase champion Dorcus Inzikuru saved the best for last when she qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games with a superb time of 9 minutes 30 seconds.

The ‘Ugandan Gazelle’ could not hide her excitement.

“I have made it. I am in the Olympics at last,” she excitedly said, having missed the World Championships in Daegu, Korea after she fainted in the last race.

Running in the 6th edition of the International Athletics Bottrop Gala on Friday in German, Inzikuru, who had two weeks back failed to qualify with her 9:55.11 in Praha, Czech Republic, kept her promise of at least a place on Team Uganda headed for the London 2012 Games when she ran a one-woman race in an event that surprisingly had no pacesetter.

However, Africa champion Sarah Nambawa and Ali Ngaimoko failed to make it to the games on their last chance in Kumasi, Ghana.

Nambawa jumped 13.93m outside the triple jump qualifying mark of 14.10m, while Ali Ngaimoko posted 46.23 seconds in the 400m. The qualifying mark is 45.90 seconds.

Inzikuru this time round is far inside the Group A qualifying standard of 9 minutes 43 seconds and she becomes the 12th fastest woman steeplechase this season.

The fastest is Kenya’s Milcah Chemos Cheywa (9:07.14), with Ethiopian Sofia Aseffa (9:09.00) and Hiwot Ayalew (9:09.61) right behind her. All these times were run in the Bislett Games.

Inzikuru was in the 2004 Olympics on IOC scholarship here she represented Uganda in the 5000m and finished 12th overall.

“That was a good improvement. She is on the team. She was on the tentative list we had entered,” said the federation general secretary Beatrice Ayikoru when contacted for a comment.

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