Kampala. There was little fanfare when the national athletics trials kicked off at Namboole Stadium on Saturday. The balmy windy day had one positive – a remarkable turn up of athletes, most of whom rookies. It did not matter though for the budding stars as they set lofty targets ahead of the busy season.
The most impressive was sprinter Jacent Nyamahunge, who won both the 100 and 200-metre races. She immediately set her targets on a podium finish at the 30th World University Games in Napoli, Italy between July 3 and 14. Her new-found confidence stems from the fact that she just won gold in the 100 metres at the sixth edition of the East Africa University games held in Tanzania last December.
The 20-year-old UCU first year student has excelled at the national post-primary games since 2013 but she traces her special moment in 2015, when she won two gold medals at the world Special Olympics in USA in 100 and 200 metres. Yet for lack of fees, despite President Museveni’s promise of a bursary, the orphaned student had dropped out of school after completing her A-Level at Old Kampala until Mildred Gamba, secured her a scholarship at UCU.
“It is just the beginning of the season but I am happy that I still did well,” she said. “My goal this year is to win a medal at the World University Games but in the long run, I aim to take part in the Olympic Games.”
Yet Lodriges Biziyaremye was in a buoyant mode after winning the 1500 metres since graduating from 800m. He run 3:51.3 but in the absence of Ronald Musagala, whom he wanted to meet.
“I wish I could compete with Musagala because it was so easy today,” he said. Sprinter Agnes Apio, who won gold in the 100m races FEASSSA games in Rwanda last year in August with 12.1, finished third although she was 3 microseconds slower on Saturday.
“I will keep working for a place to the All Africa Games,” she declared her intentions.
Long season ahead
Uganda Athletics Federation President Domenic Otucet hailed those runners that took part to remain focused ahead of the several international engagements.
“The season usually starts slowly but we have a number of international events we look to and early preps give us proper planning,” Otucet said.
All trials are qualifiers to the World Championships in Doha, All Africa Games, Africa U18 and 20 and World University games among others.
National athletics trials
Selected results - saturday
Jacent Nyamahunge (UCU) - 12.1
Claire Batyo (Ndejje) - 12.4
Agnes Apio (UWA) - 12.4
Jacent Nyamahunge (UCU) - 24.5
Claire Batyo (Ndejje) - 25.6
Christine Cheka (Sprinters SA) - 27.0
Betty Bigombe (Gombe SS) - 59.0
Rehema Akello (Sprinters SA) - 1:00.4
Moureen Naddunga (Gombe SS) - 1:01.1
Agnes Aneno (Bul) - 2:12.5
Emilly Nanziri (Police) 2:12.7
Fabiola Manilumba (Sprinters SA) - 2:13.9
Knight Aciro - (UAFA) - 4:27.6
Francine Niyomukunzi (Namugongo) 4:30.1
Pamela Changway (Ndejje) 4:49.2
Benna Sukuku (Sprinters SA) - 10:19.9
Aisha Cheritich (Gombe SS) 10:45.1
Hilda Cheptegei (Sprinters SA) - 10:52.7
Mildred Gamba (TBAC) - 10.88
Jackline Amoo (Ndejje) - 10.02
Winnie Anek (Ndejje) - 9.99
Emmanuel Nuwagaba (Police) - 10.6
Richard Olinga (Ndejje) - 10.6
Rajab Lamutho (Sprinters SA) - 10.8
Benson Okot (UAFA) - 10.8
Aaron Adoli (Prisons) - 21.1
Benson Okot (UAFA) - 21.4
Aaron Obaren (Serere) - 21.8
Godfrey Chanwengo (Makindye) - 47.0
Joseph Eragu (Makindye) - 48.1
Williamson Oroma (UAFA) - 48.1
Tom Dradiga (UCU) - 1:49.8
Kennedy Onen (Layibi Coll.) - 1:51.1
Emmanuel Osuje (Police) - 1:52.0
Lodriges Biziyaremye (Sprinters SA) - 3:51.3
Fortunate Turihohabwe (Ndejje) - 3:52.6
Emmanuel Osuje (Police) - 3:52.8
Gonzaga Sebuuma (UAFA) - 14:38.3
Stephen Chebet (UAFA) - 14:40.2
Brian Ategeka (UAFA) - 14:46.3