Double gold for para-sprinter Mubajje, boxer Ssebute out

Wednesday October 23 2019

Mubajje, Uganda’s first para-athlete to compete

Mubajje, Uganda’s first para-athlete to compete at the Games, won two gold medals. COURTESY PHOTO 

By DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE & ABDUl-NASSER SSEMUGABI

Uganda’s para-sprinter Sam Mubajje won a historic two gold medals at the 7th World Military Games in Wuhan, China yesterday.
Lance Corporal Mubajje, a wounded soldier from Mubende Barracks, first won the 100m IT3 race in 12.43 seconds, in the early hours of yesterday, becoming the first para-athlete to win gold at the Military Games, moreover the first to participate.
He doubled his tally in the evening, with an even more emphatic victory when he sprinted to the 400m finish in 57.21 sec, beating France’s Mastouri Djamel (1:02.27 sec), Dutchman Luuk Veltink (1:09.27 sec), and another Frenchman Sebastien Peyen (1:12.00 sec).
These are Uganda’s second and third gold medals since Simon Ayeko’s 3000m Steeplechase triumph in Rio de Janeiro 2011 and they bring Uganda’s tally to five overall.
“This medal (the 100m) is important to me as it inspires me to push more for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics,” Mubajje told us through the UPDF team doctor.
“It will also inspire others with disability that they too can still make it in life.”
Mubajje was a passionate young soldier with virgin dreams of rising to the apex of the military pyramid. But such ambitions were amputated when a grenade fractured his left arm in a disarmament mission in Karamoja in 2007. Mubajje’s selection for the Wuhan mission followed his impressive performance in Casablanca, Morocco earlier this year.
His arm was amputated but he finally found solace in being a versatile para-athlete: a gifted sprinter and the number one goalkeeper for the army and national amputee soccer teams.
He says he does self-training by watching YouTube clips, trying out with non-disabled colleagues. He is inspired by world champion Usain Bolt.
Mubajje’s times in Wuhan is below the 11.60 seconds and the 53.50 the T46 100m and 400m qualification marks for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. But he is hopeful he will make it.
Meanwhile boxer Corporal Abdul Ssebute lost the flyweight contest 3-2 to Myanmar’s Chit San Maung on Monday. The three golfers: Flavia Namakula, Richard Baguma and Petrah Nalwoga, missed out on a team medal, finishing fourth after an aggregate score of 703 gross from four rounds.

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