Uganda finished second behind world champions Chinese Taipei after tying on six gold medals but the Asians were ahead with seven silver, three better than the host nation at the second Beach Woodball World Cup that ended at Spennah Beach, Entebbe yesterday.
The world champions dominated the men’s events while experience counted for the Ugandan women.
Quite remarkably, Uganda won gold in the women’s stroke doubles and the men’s events as well as topping the fairway competition women singles and doubles. The team gold for men and women in the fairway also went to the host nation.
Denise Nanjeru, the world’s third seed, was a standout performer. She combined with Joyce Nalubega for a gold in the fairway competition while she scooped silver in the women’s singles behind teammate Nalubega before another silver in the women’s singles. Uganda won a total of 16 medals, while Chinese Taipei led the standings with 18. Hong Kong was third with five, Kenya two as China took the other available medal.
“I am happy that we put up a good show,” head coach Onesmus Atamba told Daily Monitor. We fell short of our goal to be world champions but this performance is very good,’’ he added, before a crisp closing ceremony at Peniel Hotel.
He hinted on lack of enough experience and maturity as to why the men’s team collapsed on the final day after an impressive display in the qualifying rounds. His sights are now on the Korea Open in June as well as the 2020 World Cup in Malaysia.
Kenyans: We did it!
Getting any medals was something the 12-man Kenyan team least expected when they played at the World Cup. Joel Chote Munyendoh, a gold medallist at last year’s East Africa University Games in Arusha, won a team silver alongside Kelvin Muite Mutuma. “We came to gain experience because we knew there were better teams but this medal is a huge motivation,” the Kampala International University (KIU) Public Administration student, said.
The Kenyan squad was composed of students from KIU, the Technical University of Mombasa, Kenyatta and Multimedia University of Nairobi.
According to the Kenya Woodball Federation General Secretary Sam Litaba, woodball is picking up slowly in institutions of higher learning.
15 countries; Burundi, China, Eritrea, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Malaysia among others competed.