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Joy for Ugandan mother as Florian Zittel wins Germany U-23 Steeplechase title

Gold for Zittel (middle). COURTESY PHOTO

Germany U23 Steeplechase final
✳ Florian Zittel 9:04.99
✳ Robin Muller 9:19.25
✳ Marco Sietman 9:25.78

Bochum-Wattenscheid, Germany | THE INDEPENDENT | While the world’s elite athletes competed for glory in Oregon last week, Florian Zittel continued his steady climb to the summit on another continent by winning the German Under-23 steeplechase title on Sunday in Bochum.

Exactly a week after celebrating Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo’s gold and bronze in the World Athletics Championships, there was more joy for Ugandan-born Christine Nalwadda Namande as her 20-year-old son Florian Zittel clinched Germany national championship glory on Sunday.

Middle distance junior Zittlel was unchallenged from start to finish as he clinched the Germany U-23 3000m steeplechase final with a commanding lead, in 9 mins 04.99 seconds. The result was about 39 seconds off the winning time (8:25.13) that Morrocan Steeplechase World champion El Bakkali posted in Oregon earlier.

The Zittels

Florian, son of former Uganda Cranes National Director Guenter Zittel, has run better before, having set a personal best of 9:02.21 in May last year. The German national 3000m steeplechase record 8:09.48  is held by Damian Kallabis while Uganda’s is 8:03.81 Benjamin Kiplagat.

The official world records in the 3000 metres steeplechase are held by Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar at 7:53.63 minutes.

Zittel’s daughter Anna (17) is also an athlete and earlier this year linked up with Ugandan aces Winnie Nanyondo and Halimah Namakulah in a world athletics meet at their home town of Karlsruhe in  Germany.

The 27-year-oldNakaayi triumphed at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany in January. During that race, Nakaayi posted 2 minutes and 02: 08 seconds.

Nakaayi (right) and Nanyondo celebrate their good performance in Germany recently with Anna Zittel. COURTESY PHOTO


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