Ugandan long-distance runner Stella Chesang set a new national record during the Hamburg Marathon in Germany on Sunday. The 2018 Commonwealth Gold Medalist in 10,000m completed the 42km race in 2:20:23, finishing behind Ethiopia’s Mesfin Tiruye, who crossed the finish line in 2:20:18, and Kenya’s Dorcas Tuitoek, who won the race in 2:20:09. Chesang surpassed the previous national record of 2:23:13, held by Juliet Chekwel.
Chesang’s record-breaking performance also earned her a ticket to the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, following in the footsteps of Mercyline Chelangat, who recently qualified for the event after finishing in third place at the Enschede Marathon in the Netherlands with a time of 2:24:51.
The women’s World Championships Qualification mark for the 42km marathon is 2:28:00, while the men’s is 2:09:40. Chesang expressed her joy and eagerness to prepare for the event, saying, “Being my first full marathon race, I will feel happier when I have good results at the world championships.”
Chesang’s achievement is significant, as she and Chelangat are the first Ugandan female athletes to qualify for the 42km race at the World Championships. Dominic Otuchet, the President of the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), stated that Uganda’s female athletes are poised for success in the 42km Women’s marathon, which is highly anticipated and considered a prestigious event.
Addy Ruiter, Chesang, and Chelangat’s coach praised their performances during the qualification season, noting that they are a sign of Uganda’s growing strength in marathon running as more athletes transition from track to road racing.