Kampala — Ever since Stephen Kiprotich beat the odds to clinch gold at the 2012 London Olympics, a new Ugandan marathon face pops up every now and then.
Jackson Kiprop and Solomon Mutai broke through in 2013 after victories at Mumbai and Mombasa Marathons. Abraham Kiplimo secured bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Moses Kipsiro joined the class two years ago while Robert Chemonges became the latest revelation after winning the Dusseldorf Marathon in Germany on Sunday.
The teenager won the 42km race of the banks of River Rhine in a new personal best (PB) time of 2:10:32, qualifying for the London World Championships due August.
"It was difficult in the wind. But otherwise it was a great race, and obviously I am very happy," the 19-year-old told the Germany press.
Having beaten the London qualification mark of 2:19:00, Chemonges now presents selection dilemma that could see some familiar names miss out on the biennial Championships.
"I am now number three in Uganda behind Kiprotich and Mutai, so I think I will be selected for the Worlds," Chemonges confidently said.
Kiprotich, champion at the 2013 Moscow Worlds, qualified for London after taking second in 2:07:31 at the Hamburg Marathon in Germany last month.
Yet, 2015 World bronze medalist Mutai set a new PB enroute to taking third in 2:09:59 at the Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan on March 5.
Unlike the 2015 Beijing Worlds where Uganda had four slots with Kiprotich as defending champion, the nation is guaranteed only three slots for London via the quota system.
This implies Kiprop is likely to miss out. The 30-year-old suffered a stitch and failed to complete the Rotterdam Marathon on April 9.
However, his time of 2:14:54 when he came eighth at the 2016 Mumbai Marathon is considered but not better than Chemonges' and he won't run any 42km race again before London.
Similarly, Kipsiro must improve on his PB (2:14:18), set while taking seventh at the New York Marathon last November, when he runs in Canada this month.
Any times run between January 1, 2016 and July 23, 2017 at an IAAF Qualification sanctioned event are considered.