More Olympic glory coming
Posted Friday, March 15 2013 at 02:00
Ahead of Rio 2016 and 2020 Olympics, UOC intend to invest heavily in conditioning and diet of athletes.
Putting emphasis on minor sports is one sure way Uganda can produce sustained success in the Olympics, William Blick believes.
The Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) president will pay extra attention to disciplines like rowing, shooting and archery in the build-up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
“Uganda can win more than one medal in Rio,” Blick, who was elected unopposed last Saturday, told Daily Monitor.
“Games like rowing, archery and shooting depend on natural ability. When a Ugandan goes out there to compete, they will be having an equal chance with a Briton or any other opponent. All we have to do is make sure we prepare our athletes very well.”
The UOC boss reckons the best method to get quality athletes in such discipline is by tapping into the armed forces.
“UPDF, Police and Prisons are heavily involved in shooting and archery. They can easily help feed into our national teams,” he reasoned.
Uganda had gone 16 years without an Olympic medal until last year when Stephen Kiprotich stunned the world to win the men’s marathon gold.
He became the third runner to win an Olympic medal after Davis Kamoga (400m bronze in 1996) and the late John Akii-Bua (400m hurdles gold in 1972). Uganda’s other four Olympic medals were won by boxers Leo Rwabwogo (bronze in 1968 and silver in 1972), Eridadi Mukwanga (silver -1968) and John Mugabi (silver-1980). For the past six years, however, Ugandan boxing has been in the news for the wrong reasons because of administrative wrangles.
And for Uganda to feature high on the medal table, local boxing must be productive again. “We have tried our best to help boxing,” Blick said. “We know how important the sport is to the country but some stakeholders haven’t helped the situation. In one month, however, our stand on boxing will be known to everybody.”
Ahead of Rio 2016 and 2020 Olympics, UOC intend to invest heavily in conditioning and diet of athletes. “If all federations are cooperative and everything goes to plan, Uganda should win at least four or five medals at the 2020 Olympics.”
Meanwhile, Blick also revealed his team will put in a bid to host the 2020 Commonwealth Youth Games.
“As a committee, we have made up our mind and the assembly has given us the green light. What is left is convincing the government to give us the necessary backing.”
“Unlike the Olympics, we don’t need very many new facilities for the event. Namboole, Lugogo and maybe, Imperial Resort- Munyonyo, can do the job.” If the bid is successful, the Games will be the biggest sporting event to ever be staged in Uganda. Last year, UOC hosted the Commonwealth Games Federation Assembly at Munyonyo.
It’s from there that they got the encouragement to put in a bid for the Commonwealth Youth Games. The bids will be submitted in August.