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Uganda's world champion fighting allergy problem

Written by: Staff

NAIROBI, Sep 14 (Reuters) Uganda's first woman's world champion Dorcus Inzikuru is struggling with a career-threatening allergy which has resulted in a string of injuries.

''I cannot stand extreme weather, like too much cold or vice versa. I must ensure I am in a place of medium weather,'' the world and Commonwealth steeplechase champion told Reuters by telephone from Kampala.

''It started in Ostrava, Czech Republic, in May. I did not finish the steeplechase event and returned home with a hamstring injury.'' Inzikuru said the allergy had created other problems.

''After Ostrava, my doctor recommended that I rest, while undertaking light training. But the problem was exacerbated when I went to Iten, near Eldoret in Kenya, to train for the African championships,'' she said.

''The routes on which we were training in Iten were too dusty and this worsened the problem, such that when I went to Doha, Qatar, for the Super Grand Prix meeting, I was profusely bleeding from the nose,'' she said.

''Allergy makes my body very weak and drains the body of oxygen supply. It makes training very difficult.'' Inzikuru said she till hoped to compete on next year's European circuit.

''I can run well on flat terrain, but jumping over the water and barriers is still a long shot. I experience excruciating pain whenever I try to jump over the bar,'' she said.

''It is still too much for the muscles. But I am going to Italy soon for further treatment and training.'' Last November, Inzikuru survived an accident while training when two vehicles from opposite directions and a motorcycle sandwiched her on a narrow bridge.

The motorcycle hit her, sending her sprawling on the river bed and leaving her with serious injuries which required hospital treatment.

But she soon resumed training and won the Commonwealth title in Melbourne, Australia this year.

Only one athlete from the tiny landlocked east African nation has previously won a global title. John Akii-Bua won the 400 metres hurdles gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Reuters AY RS1927

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