Teenage Bomber Isaac Masembe will return to Uganda with either gold or silver after he knocked out Algerian Oussama Mordjane to reach the featherweight final at the African Games yesterday.
It happened pretty fast. The referee ended the contest within three minutes after Masembe’s class had overpowered Mordjane amid cheers.
First, Mordjane came out of a corner but quickly went to the canvas after Masembe’s attack. And when the Ugandan in blue, cornered him once more, the Algerian kissed the canvas, again. Mordjane was seeing blues, red-hot Masembe was in the neutral corner punching the air, in awe.
“I didn’t do this because of me,” the 19-year-old remarked at Al Amal Indoor Centre said. “It’s God!” He is the first Ugandan to reach a boxing final at the Games since Muhammed Kizito, Abdul Tebazaalwa and Adam Kassim at Johannesburg 1999. “My club coach Kalyango and the two here have been helpful,” said the youngster, who trains extra in the night.
Today, Masembe meets Moroccan Mohamed Hamout who blew aside Zambian Everisto Mulenga 5-0 in the earlier semi-final. “I came for gold and I promise it will be gold with God. It’s the plan of God,” he added.
History on the board
FIDE Master Harold Wanyama made history by scooping bronze, Uganda’s first-ever chess medal, in the men’s rapid individual contest.
The 38-year-old IT developer scored 6.5 points in nine rounds to hit the feat at Grand Mogador Hotel Tuesday evening.
Wanyama beat six opponents, tied with Algerians Arab Adlane and Youcef Bilel, and only lost to eventual gold medalist Egyptian Ahmed Abdelshahid, who scored 8.5 points.
Another Ugandan Arthur Ssegwanyi came 16th with five points among 48 participants.
Similarly, Halimah Nakaayi edged two Moroccans to bag 800m bronze Tuesday night.
“I’m happy for what God has given me but I was praying for a gold medal,” said Nakaayi, who posted 2.3.55 seconds behind Ethiopian Hirut Mero (2:03.16) and Moroccan Rababe Arafi (2:03.20). It is Uganda’s first athletics medal at the Games since Moses Kipsiro’s 5000m gold and Annet Negesa’s 800m gold in Maputo 2011.
AFRICAN GAMEs, RABAT
11:55am: Women 200m Rd. 1 Heats
12:30pm: M &W’s 200m Round 1
7:15pm: Women’s 1500m Round 1
7:55pm: Women’s 10000m Final
8pm: Men’s 96kg
11am: Men’s 130km
4pm: Men’s Featherweight Final
BOXING -FEATHERWEIGHT SEMI
Masembe KO. Mordjane (ALG)
ATHLETICS - 800M FINAL (W)
3. Halimah Nakaayi (UGA) 2:03.55
MEN’S 800M -SEMIFINAL HEAT 2
5. Abu Mayanja (UGA) 1:49.04
MEN’S 10000M FINAL
8. Samuel Kibet (UGA) 28:32.89
11. M. Bushendich (UGA) 28:59.66
CHESS - RAPID INDIVIDUAL (M)
3. Harold Wanyama (UGA) 6.5
16. Arthur Ssegwanyi (UGA) 5.0
HANDBALL 5-8 CLASSIFICATION
Uganda 24-34 Algeria