Two Ugandan athletes are to represent the eastern African county at the 22nd Abebe Bikila International Marathon due June 11 in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
It is Cirino Abong and Samuel Lutabi who had been selected by the Ugandan Athletics Federation (UAF) because most of the regular marathoners haven't completed their rest periods from their previous marathons.
"Athletes normally have to rest from 3-4 months after participating in any marathon. Francis Yiga, Joseph Nsubuga and Alex Malinga had just competed in continental marathons and can't go to Ethiopia on a technical basis," explained Namayo Mawerere, publicity secretary of the UAF.
Abong would be the Ugandan to watch in this race after he won a bronze medal last year in an Ethiopian half marathon event staged in the same city while Lutabi is a regular marathoner who always completes his races.
The Abebe Bikila International Marathon is named after Abebe Bikila, the Ethiopian marathon runner, who won a gold medal and set an unofficial world record while running barefoot at the 1960 Olympic Games, then bested his own record at the 1964 Olympics.