2012 Uspa award: Kiprotich up against Lubega, Mangat
Posted Tuesday, January 8 2013 at 12:25
All Sport. Barring a miracle of biblical proportions, Olympic gold medalist Kiprotich is expected to win the award for the first time in his career
Athletics’ dominance of the annual Nile Special-Uspa sports personality of the year award is almost bound to continue as Stephen Kiprotich leads a list of three candidates for the 2012 gong.
The marathoner who won Uganda’s first Olympic Gold since 1972 predictably made the shortlist that also includes rally driver Jas Mangat and boxer Joseph Lubega.
Mangat won his first National Rally Championship (NRC) title last year whereas Lubega lifted the vacant World Boxing Council International (WBCI) light heavyweight title.
The odds will be skewed for Kiprotich, winner of the February and August accolades, as athletes have won seven Personalities of the Year awards since 2000.
Kiprotich, Mangat and Lubega were also unanimously voted as the best in their respective sports disciplines by journalists during their monthly meeting at the Lugogo Tennis Club yesterday.
The winner from the three will be known at the annual gala set for January 19 at the Imperial Royale Hotel.
Unlike last year when the Team of the Year was known before the gala, the assembly agreed to keep it a secret until next Saturday though voting has already taken place.
Express, winners of a first league title since 1996, cricket’s Rwenzori Warriors, Rugby Cranes and the national motorcross team will compete for the team diadem.
Swimming, handball and hockey, previously scrapped off the list having held few events during the calendar year, were restored. Bodybuidling was shelved this time. It was the contest for Footballer of Year that caused the biggest debate with former Uganda Cranes skipper Ibrahim Sekagya eventually nicking the ballot.
The Red Bull Salzburg defender and captain polled 10 votes to finish ahead of Daniel Sserunkuma (Gor Mahia, Kenya) URA’s Robert Sentongo and Godfrey Walusimbi (Vipers), the latter three finishing on eight.
In all, 27 disciplines were recognised. All the winners will receive their plaques at the glamorous awards’ dinner.
The lengthy meeting which lasted almost six hours also voted Uganda Cranes as the Nile-Uspa sports personality for December for winning the Cecafa Tusker Cup.
Cranes got 355 votes to beat the national U-19 cricket team (345pts). The national soccer team successfully defended their trophy after beating Kenya’s Harambee Stars 2-1 in the final at Namboole Stadium last month.
The scribes also commended Warriors basketball club and KCCA basketball ball team for winning the men and women Fuba division I League titles respectively.