Sunday, July 8, 2007

Dorcus Inzikuru: Is She Playing 'possum?

Reigning 3000m Steeplechase World Champion Dorcus Inzikuru is bowing out of this year's World Championships in Osaka, claiming that "she has encountered health and fitness problems." She hasn't competed since her DNF at the World Cross Country Championships this past March in Mombasa, Kenya. Is she really finished for the year, or is she simply employing a classic pre-race psychological tactic to take the pressure off of her?

This article from Uganda's Daily Monitor details her health problems (sinus trouble) and claims that she "won't be defending her gold medal at the World Athletics Championships due August 25 -September 2 in Osaka, Japan." Even so, Dr. Flavio Pasquato, part of her Italian management team, "believes it is too early for Inzikuru to pull out of Osaka and that she can return on time to fitness":

"Inzikuru faced similar problems last year before she travelled for the Commonwealth Games and she surprised everybody with a gold medal triumph in the finals, I can’t rule her out in July, let's wait until the World Championships start."

If it is just a tactical ploy, Gulnara Samitova-Galkina of Russia and Eunice Jepkorir of Kenya are probably not too worried. After all, Samitova-Galkina has posted a world-leading time this year of 9:11.68 while Jepkorir has a time of 9:14.52. Both times are faster than Inzikuru's PB of 9:15.04. If she doesn't compete in Osaka, that means Uganda will not be represented this year by a female athlete.

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