By Basil K Mbuye
When the 25 edition of the Mount Cameroon Race Of Hope will take place on Saturday, February 22, some 99 women will be challenging the Chariots of the Gods to see who is going to be crown champion.
The Senior female category with a total of 45 ladies is going to be highly competitive with some champions looking forward to rewrite history. We take a look at some of the potential athletes that might climb the podium in this year’s edition.
The 38 year –old won the race for the seventh time equaling the record of ‘Queen of the mountain’ Sarah Etonge. She has proven herself to be the uncontested successor of the retired Queen of the Mountain. She won the race in 2009, 2010, 2011,2012,2013,2015 and 2016 and in some occasions has climbed the podium as a second or third athlete to cross the finish line.
Although she is 38, like fine wine that gets better with age, she is amongst the favourites in this edition of the race. In 2019, she was third behind Ngalim Lizette and winner Tatah Carine. She will be looking forward to winning her 8th title to set a new record in the race.
Born on July 6, 1990, in the Northwest Region of Cameroon,Tatah will be looking forward to defending her title this Saturday when the race kicks off. She will be facing challenges from Ngalim Lizette, Ngwaya Yvonne, Ngwang Catherine and a host of others.
She started climbing the ladder of success in the race when in 2014, at age 16, she came third in the senior race behind winner Ngalim Lizette and Ngwaya Yvonne.
She will be looking forward to her third consecutive victory in the race after winning it in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, the 22-year-old crossed the finished line using a time of 5hours 27 minutes and 54 seconds to beat 2017 winner Ngalim Lizette and Wirngo Kpufanla. The native of Bui Division in the Northwest region won the 24th edition of the race in 5 hours 35 minutes ahead of Ngalim Lizette in second position and Ngwaya Yvonne in third.
Since she won her 5th race in 2008, the veteran winner has failed to climb the podium as the first female athlete for more than a decade.
She won her first race in 2000 and during that period the female race witnessed great rivalry between her and Sarah Etonge as both athletes took turns in winning the race.
The rivalry saw the athletes failing to allow each other the chances to win in two successive editions.
The 38 year-old Ngwang won the race in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008 and will be expecting to win it once more before she retires.
In 2014, Ngalim Lizette shocked the world when she stopped Ngwaya Yvonne’s winning run of five consecutive titles to emerged the new champion. She later went on to win the race again in 2017 and in 2019 she was second behind Tatah Carine.
Born on July 14, 19888, she has gone on to climb the podium as a second fiddle in some occasions and will be looking forward to her third title this year.
The Kenyan born female athlete could create a surprise come Saturday, February 20 in Buea when he race takes place. Born on 1976, Chelimo has taken part in a series of races in countries like Germany, Qatar, the USA amongst others.
She will be relying on her experience to creating a surprise in this year’s race.
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