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2013 has been a year to savour

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Stephen Kiprotich

Stephen Kiprotich 

By Moses Banturaki

Posted  Saturday, December 21  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

Stephen Kiprotich’s World Championship gold was arguably the best storyline of 2013 for Uganda

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The days quickly turned into weeks and the weeks into months and before we knew it, another year had gone by. And what a year it has been.

As is normally my habit, I tend to use this period to share my sporting highlights which in 2013 have been both tragic and remarkable.

And there is quite a lot we could talk about but that would call for much bigger space than your columnist is entitled to.

So, given the circumstances, here are my subjective choices.
It all started on Valentine’s Day when we woke up to the news that Oscar Pistorius had shot his girlfriend in the middle of the night. The harsh court of public opinion was quick to judge him.

But the thing is, whether this shooting was intentional or accidental this once remarkable athlete must find himself in a place of unthinkable consequences.

April then went with the amiable Bobby Williamson. Everyone, including Bobby himself I suspect, thought he had carried us as far as he possibly could. There was no bitterness just an amicable parting of ways. Bobby has since moved on to club football and is rumoured to have, tucked under his arm one of the most lucrative club contracts on the continent. Micho replaced him a month after but I miss Bobby though, and so I imagine does the barman at Just Kicking.

Then in June, Lawrence Mulindwa stunned us all by opting out of the race for Fufa president even if he was still eligible. He was to be replaced by Moses Magogo in a thinly veiled case of cronyism. Rumours about puppets and paper tigers continue to swirl around but time emboldens new leaders as much as it kills rumours.

In August Stephen Kiprotich added a World Championships Gold onto his Olympic Gold. Not even the great Aklii-Bua pulled that one off. A couple of rewards and endorsements afterwards I retain the feeling that we haven’t seen the last of this soft spoken Ugandan.

September saw us qualify for Chan as expected but we failed to qualify for the World Cup, also as expected. And somewhere in between Kiprotichs’ success and the dismal showing of football, motor-mouth Moses Golola reclaimed his kick-boxing title following a surprise victory over Titus Tugume a fighter who is reputed to be technically far superior to him.

Kickboxing needed him. Heck Golola needed it too, especially after a couple of pathetic performances threatened to render him irrelevant.

Then came December which would have been carried by the achievements of debutant National Basketball League champions City Oilers and The She Cranes had it not been for the passing of Nelson Mandela, a man whose stature not even sport could escape from. I have heard the term legend used loosely a couple of times, but Nelson Mandela was a legend if I ever knew one.

And so the year went by like that. As we await the new one, we could reflect but must not regret, as that would be futile. Instead, let us forget the cynicism and enjoy the festive season as we look ahead to the opportunities a new year holds. So from me to you, make merry and listen to Philly Bongole’s Christmas album of 1988 if you can.

World Cup exit
September saw us qualify for Chan as expected but we failed to qualify for the World Cup, also as expected. And somewhere in between Kiprotichs’ success and the dismal showing of football, motor-mouth Moses Golola reclaimed his kick-boxing title following a surprise victory over Titus Tugume, a fighter who is reputed to be technically far superior to him. Kick-boxing needed him. Heck Golola needed it too especially after a couple of pathetic performances threatened to render him irrelevant.


banturakim@gmail.com