The First Lady of the Republic of Uganda, also Minister of Education and Sports, Janet K. Museveni on Saturday flagged off four athletes bound for the Monaco Diamond League slated for Friday 14 August 2020 at the Principality’s Louis II Stadium in Monaco.
The athletes that were flagged off at State House Nakasero are; world champions, Joshua Cheptegei and Halimah Nakaayi plus Winnie Nannyondo and Samuel Kisa.
The first lady was flanked by officials from; Uganda Athletics Federation, Uganda Olympic Committee, National Council of Sports, State Minister for Sports Hon. Hamson Obua, and the athletes themselves.
The traveling quartet recently secured travel permission from the Ministry of International Affairs and used a chartered Uganda Airlines jet, but via Nairobi, Kenya to Nice, France.
After bidding them (the athletes) farewell and wishing them all the best, the First Lady cautioned the athletes on discipline in regard to the current global health crisis and the like.
“To the athletes, please take care to protect yourselves from COVID-19. Remember that self-discipline is a big factor in the fight against this virus. God be with you,” the First Lady said via a brief social media missive.
Joshua Cheptegei is Uganda’s ‘main man’ but will be joined by compatriot and 800m world champion Halimah Nakaayi as another athlete to watch.
Following her triumph in Doha last year, Nakaayi returns to action as the woman to beat over 800m, and will be out to claim her second ever win on the Diamond League circuit.
For Cheptegei, he will attempt to break the 5000m World Record currently held by Kenenisa Bekele with 12:37.35 minutes.
The Monaco Diamond League event also known as the Herculis EBS Meeting, will be the first of 2020, and although COVID-19 had prevented the world’s best athletes from competing together for many months, many high-profile track and field stars will be racing once again.
The Diamond League is an annual series of elite track and field athletic competitions comprising 15 of the best invitational athletics meetings. The series sits in the top tier of the World Athletics (formerly known as the IAAF) one-day meeting competitions.