New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: I Have Done My Bit for Inzzi, Kip - Physio

Team physiotherapist Michael Aleku has passed Dorcus Inzikuru and Moses Kipsiro "fit to win medals" at the London 2012 Olympics.

"We have taken them through muscle relaxation, passive stretching and tension release so they don't develop cramps. I spent most of yesterday handling Inzikuru. Kipsiro had fewer compliants, and I will be with him minutes before he goes on the track," Aleku said.

"The athletes' muscles are tense before competition, and we have to relax them for them to compete very well."

Aleku is by the side of the athletes 30 minutes before they race to ensure he can massage them if they need to, and to help them warm-up.

This is the first time the Uganda Olympics team travels with a physiotherapist since the early 70s. At previous meets, Uganda has had to ask for physiotherapy help from other countries. Kenya has also helped previously, confirmed Aleku.

Aleku is also the chief physiotherapist for the very successful Uganda Rugby Team and this year, started handling the national junior athletics team.

Where is the flag?

For the final tonight, the Ugandan contingent will sit together and make their flag visible - not for the cameras but for the athletes.

Benjamin Kiplagat complained to the minister of state for sports Charles Bakkabulindi yesterday that when he is running, " all I see are Kenyan flags. I don't see any Ugandans."

Bakkabulindi made an impromptu visit to the Games Village to talk to the athletes ahead of their races today.

Moses Kipsiro added. " We should have our corner with our flags so that when you are running and see that, you get a lot of energy to push harder."

Forget Mo, look at Bekele

" The 10,000m final will be won in the final lap," says long-distance coach Gordon Ahimbisibwe. Sounds obvious, but the Kenyans in the women's 10,000m must have at least wished for that chance as Ethiopian ace Tirunesh Dibaba took off 700m to the tape to win gold Friday night in a season best time of 30:20.75.

He went on to add another obvious. " Bekele will be the man to wacth. He wants his title!".

That then means Team Uganda have shifted their focus from Mo Farah of Britain, to Ethiopia.

" The way Dibaba controlled that race is exactly what the Ethiopians are going to do today," Ahimbisibwe warned. "The battle will be between Uganda, Kenya and the Ethiopians," he added.

" All we pray is for Kipsiro to be with them in the final lap, then we see."

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