Hosts Ndejje University emerged overall champions of the 17th edition of the Assocation of Uganda University Sports (AUUS) Sports that climaxed yesterday in Bombo.
With 14 overall gold medals out of the available 32, there was only going to be one winner. The 10 silver and two bronze where just an accompaniment to a delicious meal.
It did not come without tension as Ndejje had a topsy-turvy final day that started with 1-3 losses in both men and women’s volleyball to rivals Uganda Christian University (UCU) and Nkumba respectively and later on culminated into a 3-0 to Makerere Business School (Mubs) loss in the men’s football finals.
There was some reprieve in men’s handball where they beat Kampala University (KU) 33-21 but skipper Harriet Nansubuga’s worries that Nkumba could stop the ladies came to pass as they fell 12-17.
In women’s basketball UCU lived up to the hype by beating the hosts 43-30 but the loudest cheers were kept for the men where Ndejje’s Derrick Katumba skippered the hosts to their first ever gold in a 56-40 whitewash of Kampala International University (KIU).
“I am overwhelmingly excited by the achievement,” said Katumba, who was also celebrating his 25th birthday on the day. He had some cake cut for him at the end with cheers of ‘captain, captain…’
Such was the joy but most of it was spared for the closing ceremony where the hosts were announced champions for the fourth consecutive time.
“It all comes down to hard work. Our university has supported us with good facilities and scholarships so it is no surprise that we are doing well across all disciplines,” swimmer Alphonsine Agahozo, who helped her team tally 749 points in the pool, said.
UCU finished second with five gold medals (men and women’s badminton, women’s football, volleyball and basketball) while there were near misses in athletics, tennis and netball.
Nkumba, which participated in only the 10 ball games disciplined were third with their women bagging gold in volleyball, handball and the new beach handball.
Key moments that stood out during the 17th AUUS Games
Ajok pips Nakaayi
The athletics competition started with a commanding charge by Sadik Bahati as he claimed gold in the 10000m event with a time of 29:42.00 on Tuesday.
Shortly after, the most anticipated race of the day saw Dorcus Ajok stretch out to finish just ahead of national teammate and local rival Halima Nakaayi with 4:42.50. Nakaayi managed 4:42.80.
Agahozo’s breaststroke leaves Meya panting
Ugandan star Avice Meya and Rwanda Olympian Alphonsine Agahozo had a bitter sweet rivalry in the pool that culminated into a combined 24 gold and 10 silver medals. Bccut the 400IM battle between the two on Tuesday is easily the race of the swimming competition.
The two went toe-to-toe in the butterfly leg but Meya managed to pull away by a considerable margin in the 100m of the backstroke.
Meya also led for 50m of the breaststroke before Agahozo seized initiative. From then on, Meya did not recover as Agahozo clocked 6:39.87 with the former settling for 6:44.56.
Nassuna’s freekick against KU
Hasifah Nassuna has certainly enjoyed the University Games. The hattrick against Mubs in their third round robin game was impressive even by the standards she has set.
But the jaw dropping freekick against the resilient Kampala University (KU) set the tone for UCU’s first ever Inter University Games trophy in women’s football.
Nassuna sent the ball flying from over 40 yards but the KU defence remained helpless. Easy to say their title defence died with that stunner as they settled for silver.
Mubs-KU final before the final
Makerere University Business (Mubs) and Kampala University (KU) were grouped alongside Makerere and Uganda Martyrs Universities in Group B in what many considered the group of death.
And with KU having only managed a draw in their previous encounter against UMU, their meeting with Mubs felt like a final. And the two didn’t disappoint.
Featuring a number of interesting subplots, including that of coaches Charles Ayieko and KU’s Vincent Tumusiime saw the latter field a star-studded side that included URA playmaker Shafik Kagimu and Bright Stars’ Innocent Asimwe.
They however went down to an early Nelson Mandela strike who beat an offside trap to slot home.
Mubs then held on as KU launched waves of attack including one of no less than 12, one-touch passes that was fluffed by Jamil Nvule.
The found little resistance thereafter and thrashed hosts Ndejje 3-0 to claim gold. (BY MAKHTUM MUZIRANSA
& ELVIS SENONO).
Overall Medal Tally
University G S B
Ndejje 14 10 2
UCU 5 3 3
Nkumba 3 2 2
Mubs 3 1 3
KIU 2 5 2
Makerere 2 4 9
Kyambogo 2 1 6
Kampala 1 5 6