Gold Coast Games: Best in 48 years

Tuesday April 17 2018

Joshua Cheptegei and Stella Chesang

Thanks to the brilliant runs from long distance stars Joshua Cheptegei and Stella Chesang. FILE PHOTO 

By Mark Namanya

Cheptegei: Stood out in Uganda’s campaign with two gold medals; one apiece from 5000m and 10000m races.

Chesang: Stunned Cararra Stadium into silence by unexpectedly storming to gold in the women’s 10000m final.

Chelangat: Teamwork saw her reap the dividends with bronze in the women’s 10000m.

Mutai: Gave Uganda’s campaign a silver-lining on the final days of the Games with men’s marathon silverware.

Miiro: The only Bomber out of five boxers to win a medal for Uganda.

Thanks to the brilliant runs from long distance stars Joshua Cheptegei and Stella Chesang, Team Uganda will fly back on Wednesday afternoon having put on the best show in nearly 50 years of the Commonwealth Games.
You have to go back to the 1970 edition when Uganda last performed this well.

Back then, a hat-trick of gold from boxers James Odwori (light flyweight), Mohammed Muruli (light weliterweight) and Benson Masanda (heavyweight) capped a remarkable show that was complemented with three silvers from boxer Leo Rwabogo (flyweight), Deogratius Musoke (featherweight) and athlete William Koskei.

In Edinburgh, Uganda finished in ninth position in a competition where 26 countries took part.
In Gold Coast, the lasting memory will be of the magnificent 5,000 and 10,000m double gold by the fully rejuvenated Joshua Cheptegei and Stella Chesang, who raced home to 10,000m women’s gold.

King Solomon’s courage
Uganda also claimed a first silver at the Commonwealth since the Manchester 2002 edition thanks to the somewhat fortuitous but courageous race from Solomon Mutai in the hot Sunday sunshine of the city.

Mutai’s silver came a day after boxer Juma Miiro was crowned as the bronze winner of the men’s 46-49kg category, which was the country’s second of the Games after Mercyline Chelangat’s in the women’s 10,000m.

With four athletes – Thomas Ayeko, Winnie Nanyondo, Juliet Chekwel and Jacob Kiplimo – finishing just one place outside the medal positions and a host of boxers exiting at the quarter final stage, there is every reason to believe that the next edition of the Games in Birmingham can surpass 1970 Edinburgh and 2018 Gold Coast.