COULD this be the moment that Uganda has been waiting for the last 16 years?
Ugandans are praying that this question is answered in the affirmative when Moses Kipsro takes to the track in the London Olympics 5000 meter final tonight.
Quarter miler Davis Kamoga was the last Ugandan to win an Olympic medal. Kamoga, unlike Kipsiro, who has been in international headlines for half a decade, got the world by surprise when he ran to a 400m bronze at the 1996 games in Atlanta.
Kipsiro, who has hinted on quitting the track for the marathon after the Olympics, has been in the news with world championship and Commonwealth medals, but is yet to make a mark at the Olympics.
That's exactly why today's race is seen more as a-now-or never moment. This kind of scenario comes with a lot of pressure. No wonder kipsiro has slapped an embargo on the press.
Kipsiro's desperate quest for Olympic glory stretches back to the last games in Beijing. He kept with the front pack only to lose out in the final sprint where a blistering pace set by Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele turned out to be too much for the Ugandan star.
He finished fourth. Bekele won gold, his second in those games, in a new Olympic record of 12:57.82 followed by Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge in 13:02.80 and Edwin Cheruiyot 13:06.22. Kipsiro followed in 13:10.56.
Kipsiro returns to the big stage today in a final where the spotlight will be on Somali born British runner Mo Farah. Home fans are dying to see one of their own scoop a double after Farah winning the 10000m last Saturday.
The fact that the spotlight is on Farah could ease the pressure on Kipsiro. But a lot could also depend on whether Kipsiro has revised his tactics.
He surged into the lead in the heats, remaining at the front for most of the race only to be outsprinted in the last meters. He eventually finished seventh but coach Gordon Ahimbisibwe promised to look into the issue.
After Kipsiro, Uganda will be looking to Stephen Kiprotich for results in the last event of the London games.
Men's 5000m final