Team Uganda started on the brighter side of the World Schools Sports Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, with a collection of three gold medals. The athletics team powered to a three-gold and one bronze haul as the games commenced in Belgrade. Jacintah Katushabe, Loice Chekwemoi and Victor Cherotich did not disappoint the Uganda contingent and those who believed in the trio as they raced to podium finishes in their respective middle races. First was Old Kampala’s Katushabe, who took to her favourite 400m race finishing at 57:98 seconds after beating off stiff competition from Ukrainian Anna-Maria Khimich who came second in 59:37 seconds.

Cheering Obua

The closely watching Minister of State for Sports and leader of delegation Hamson Obua, together with the Commissioner Physical Education and Sports Canon Duncans Mugumya, cheered on as the Chekwemoi hit the tape for gold in the girls 1500m. Moments later, Cherotich also set his own pace in the boys’ 1500m to win Uganda’s gold as team members jubilated. The days’ athletics action was crowned with Team Uganda winning a bronze in the girls 4x100m relays where Uganda finished third behind Ukraine and Namibia. "I thank God for the gold and I am proud of the coaches who are doing everything to see that I becoming an Olympic champion,” said Chekwemoi.

Team Uganda in the girls 4x100m relays with their bronze medals

The future is bright

Minister Obua could not hold back his happiness after witnessing a crop of young Uganda talents that are being groomed to follow in the footsteps of elite runners like Joshua Cheptegei, Peruth Chemutai and company. “By Government deciding to facilitate Team Uganda to these junior championships is an indication that it is our strategy as a ministry to identify, develop and mentor the talents that will in future take up mantle to raise the Uganda Flag higher at international level. With this, the future is bright,” Obua said.

Chess action

Uganda’s other performances were in chess, basketball, badminton, table tennis and swimming, where Uganda’s basketball 3*3 team beat France and India 9-3 and 9-6 respectively to stand a chance at winning a medal. Other medal hopes are badminton where Eric Ofoyuru and Akbar Oduka are seeded one in their group based on performance. The week-long games will officially be opened today before they close on September 19.

Date: September 14, 2021
Source: New Vision
By: Aloysius Byamukama