Ugandan Sports in 2011: The good and the bad

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In short
The year 2011 comes to a close today and many would want to quickly forget the Uganda Cranes failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. But besides the Cranes failure and many other poor shows in sports during the year, there were also several successes to be proud about.

 
The year 2011 comes to a close today and many would want to quickly forget the Uganda Cranes failure to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. But besides the Cranes failure and many other poor shows in sports during the year, there were also several successes to be proud about.

The national team that made it to the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique performed well bagging four gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals. It was the best performance for Uganda at the All Africa Games. Athletes Mose Kipsiro, Annet Negesa and the women’s Netball team bagged Gold, while Edwin Ekiring bagged silver in badminton, while Duncan Mugabe (tennis) and Sserugo (boxing) picked bronze medals.

Besides the All Africa Games team, the crickters have also showed their good form after both the men and women team qualified for the next round of the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers. Uganda’s men team beat Namibia in July in the first phase qualify in Kampala, while the women also topped the round robin qualifier this month to qualify for the next phase. On the local scene Patidar Samaj won the national league to breal Tornado’s dominance, while Uganda Cricket Association chairman Kato Ssebbale is calling it quits and will not seek re-election during the General Assembly in Januaray 2012.

Apart from the bronze medal won by Sserugo at the All Africa Games, boxing has been in wrangles which don’t seem to end unless the two factions claiming administrative (former professional Godfrey Nyakana and Dr Ntege) come together to help the sport. The sport has struggled and barely had any national events. Three weeks ago two boxers not cleared by Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) traveled to Finland reportedly to try their luck in the paid ranks and nothing is heard from them today as they will also miss qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympics.

Beach Volleyball under the chairmanship of Mofat Masaba has been very active this season and this has seen their teams qualify for the Olympics qualifiers, sent two players to an event in the UK, participated in events around the region and also had many local events mainly supported by Club Beer. Well done Beach Voleyball.

While for the first time a woman rally driver Suzan Muwonge won the National rally Championship which was good for the sport, last weekend witnessed another bad episode in motorsport when fans beat up rally driver Ponsiano Lwakataka during a Sprint they claim he organized poorly. The driver reportedly also pulled out his pistol and it took some serious intervention by the police to stop what would have been a terrible scene.

Kickboxing was also dominated by the loud mouthed Moses Golola who started in style beating South Sudan’s Abdul Quadir to win the African title, but completed the season in controversy when he was beaten by Hungary’s Andras Nagy but surprisingly won the belt in a World Kickboxing Federation Intercontinental fight. Golola went ahead to disagree with his promoter Patrick Kanyomozi and matters have not been resolved yet on how to share the monies that were raised from the fight.

While the ruggers failed to win the Elgon Cup when they lost to archrivals Kenya and also faired poorly at the Safari Sevens event in Nairobi, MTN Heathens dominated the 7s circle, while Utl Kobs were supreme in the National League.
The Uganda Cranes redeemed themselves when they recaptured the regional Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup when they beat Rwanda in penaltiy shoot outs during the final in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam. The Cranes under Scottish coach Bobby Williamson will have to work harder to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as they start the campaign against Congo Brazzaville in February 2012. On the local scene, Express FC have finished top of the League table standings after round one in the Bell Lager, DSTV, Eco Bank sponsored League.

Sporting events like Handball, Tennis, Taekwondo, Darts and Cycling have been very dormant both locally and on the International scene and one really wonders what their administrators are planning for 2012.

Basketball produced one of the most interesting seasons on the local scene when DMark Power came from two games down in the final to win 4-3 in a best of seven series over Kyambogo warriors. Uganda Christian University Lady Canons also retained the women’s title. On the International scene, Uganda failed to send a team to the regional East and Central Championships in Tanzania, while women representatives KCC Leopards came third.
After President Yoweri Museveni’s promise of 300 million shillings each to football and athletics, the 2012 will surely start well on the sporting side as it seems now more evident that government is starting to notice the importance of sports.
 

 

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