Teenager Isaac Masembe settled for silver a recurring wound derailed his show in the men’s featherweight final at the African Games in Rabat, Morocco yesterday.
The 19-year-old lost to Mohamed Hamout 4-1 in the final after the Moroccan opened the cut below his left eye carried from the quarterfinal win over Congolese Roy Bukasa.
The night prior, after knocking out Algerian Oussama Mordjane in the semi-final, Masembe had kept the Bombers’ contingent waiting at the gym. Masembe had trained until 2am, hoping to achieve his dream of gold but it did not reach fruition at the Al Amal Indoor Centre.
“The cut above his right eye cost him,” said Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo, boxing’s team manager from National Council of Sports. “He was hit many times there and he did not settle thereafter.”
Masembe ended up guarding himself in the first round and could not pick the desired momentum.
After the fight, Masembe took a while with the doctors as he needed medical examination. “It was brutal,” Kigongo described the fight. He settled for silver, Uganda’s best highest podium finish in the ring in two decades. Muhamed Kizito won light flyweight gold, Abdul Tebazalwa got bantamweight gold while Adam Kassim Nupa won featherweight silver in Johannesburg 1999.
Meanwhile, another teenager Josephine Lalam missed winning Uganda’s first field event medal at the Games in 32 years by a distance of 0.05 metres. Lalam threw a personal best distance of 53.39m but South African Sunette Viljoen (53.44m) took the bronze medal.