Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataha Museveni officially flagged off four Ugandan athletes who are set to compete at the Monaco Diamond League in France due on 14th August 2020.

Led by Commonwealth and World Champion Joshua Cheptegei, the team departs the country on Saturday aboard a chartered flight by Uganda Airlines.

The other three athletes included World 800M Champion Halima Nakaayi, Winnie Nanyonndo and Stephen Kissa.

Joshua Cheptegei (holding national flag)

The quartet was seen off by Kataha in Kampala flanked by the State minister of sports Denis Hamson Obua, National Council of Sports (NCS) board chairman Donald Rukare, NCS General secretary Bernard Patrick Ogwel among other officials.

“I wish you well. May you excel and make Uganda proud. 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,” Kataha remarked.

Uganda’s athletes needed special consideration from the state to be allowed and fly out given the current ban on flights because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Monaco Diamond League is due to be held on Friday, August 14 2020 in France.

The four athletes

Cheptegei returns to Monaco keen to claim a 12:51 world record at the Monaco Run 5km in Febuary, earlier in 2020.

Last year, Cheptegei won the World Cross country gold medal and the 5,000m Diamond League trophy.

He also won the 10,000m race at World Championships held in October at Doha.

Meanwhile, Nakaayi will be looking to add to her 2019 Doha World Championships success after shocking the globe with an outstanding 1:58:04 – 800m performance.

Joshua Cheptegei (left) shares a light moment with State minister of sports Denis Hamson Obua

The championship in Monaco is tagged as the Herculis meet and it will be the third of the season.

Other famous big wigs expected are Netherlands’ Hassan Sifan (5000M), Venezuelan athlete Yulimar Rojas Yulimar Rojas (Triple Saut),  pole vault superstar and new world record holder Mondo Duplantis, 2x World Champion Noah Lyles and European Indoor Record holder Konstanze Klosterhalfen among others.

The fourth (BAUHAUS-galan) will come on 23rd August 2020 at the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm, Sweden, 2nd September (Laussane, Switzerland), 4th September (Brussels, Belgium), 17th September (Naples, Italy), 25th September (Doha, Qatar) and 17th October in China.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the format was changed.

The series will no longer be a structured series of events leading up to a final and athletes will not earn Diamond League points.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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