• Short Summary

    Muss Mustafa, a 31 year old prison officer from Uganda, won the National Open Marathon race held in Kenya last week (21 December).

  • Description

    Muss Mustafa, a 31 year old prison officer from Uganda, won the National Open Marathon race held in Kenya last week (21 December).

    He covered the 26 miles (40 kms) in two hours 36 minutes and 53 seconds.

    The race was two hours late starting. Race observers said that if the athletes hadn't had to wait around in the hot sun for this time most could have improved their times by at least 15 minutes.

    Former international marathon runner, Philip Ndoo of Kenya came in second in two hours 39 minutes 42 seconds. The performance made him Kenya's new marathon champion and he is now favoured to represent Kenya in Montreal at next year's Olympic games.

    Third home was Joseph Nzau of Kenya in two hours 45 minutes 10 seconds.

    Perhaps the most disappointed runner of the day w as defending champion, Joseph Kingabi. After a fast start he gradually fell behind, then has to pull out of t he race all together with muscle cramp three miles (5 kms) from the finish.

    Twenty-eight athletes took part in the race -- 25 of them Kenyans. There were tow Ugandans and one European.

    SYNOPSIS: Kenya where twenty-eight athletes--including two Ugandans and a European--took part in the country's Open Marathon race which was held on twenty first of December.

    Before they started, all the entrants were given a thorough medical check by a doctor.

    The race was two hours late starting. This meant the runners were standing around in the sun and race observers believe that this--combined with Nairobi's five thousand feet altitude situation could have put at least fifteen minutes on the times the runners eventually clocked in at.

    Showing good form right from the start was Uganda's, Musa Mustafa. He was followed closely by Kenya's Philip Ndoo -- tipped to win the race.

    Also well out in front early in the race was Joe Kingabi, last year's winner.

    The twenty-six mile race was made even more gruelling as the scorching sun climbed high into the sky, and as the athletes clocked up the miles the st rain began to t ell on even the toughest.

    But when the leaders arrived at the Nairobi City stadium, the diminutive Olympian runner -- Musa Mustafa -- was still in the lead.

    No one was going to catch the thirty one year old prison officer and he crossed the line at two hours thirty six minutes and fifty three seconds.

    Close on his heels was the Kenyan favourite, Philip Ndoo.

    Ndoo, a former international marathon runner, clocked in at two hours thirty nine minutes forty two seconds. This made him Kenya's champion marathon runner and a firm favourite to represent his country at next year's Montreal Olympics. Joe Nzan came in third.

    The race was close and it could well be that these talented African runners could be vying against each other against each other again next year -- but for gold medals in the international arena.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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