Runners, boxers carry Uganda’s medal hopes
Posted Thursday, July 24 2014 at 01:00
All games. Bombers captain Rogers Ssemitala and teammate Fazil Juma must, however, shake off excessive weight to be in shape for the weigh-in this morning
If Uganda is to get a medal here, it will come from boxing or athletics.
Virtually all Uganda’s Commonwealth medals, 12 of them gold since 1954, have been scooped from the two disciplines.
As action proper starts today following last night’s opening ceremony, runners and boxers will again bear the burden of the 94-man Ugandan contingent here, whose preparations for the event were a shambles thanks to National Council of Sports’ unfortunate move to withhold training monies only to release them after the team had flown out.
But like has always been the case in the past few decades, good preparation or no preparation, there is always hope for an accidental medal from some Ugandan raw talent.
Returning to the big stage after a six-year absence prompted by administrative wrangles, boxers have made their intentions clear of reclaiming their place as Uganda’s golden sport. Eight of Uganda’s 12 Commonwealth gold medals have come from boxing. At the past edition in New Delhi, India, there was no Ugandan boxer, however.
“We are back,” boxing coach Dick Katende said, “These are the real Bombers.” Despite their lack of competitive action in the past few years, Katende has persistently insisted he will not return to Kampala without a medal.
“All the five boys have an equal chance of claiming a medal,” said the coach. Katende’s biggest task now, though, is having all his boxers in their right weights for today’s weigh-in.