What you need to know:
- They both spoke in high spirits as they flagged two teams to the forthcoming World Athletics Championships in Oregon-US, and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.
Sport has for long decried low funding from the government. But the sub-sector reaped big in the current financial year with its pool rising from Shs17b to Shs47b.
In so doing, President Museveni and his wife Education and Sports minister Janet feel they have done their part.
They both spoke in high spirits as they flagged two teams to the forthcoming World Athletics Championships in Oregon-US, and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, UK.
“Our hope now is that with increased government funding in this financial year, we expect more from our athletes,”
First Lady Janet Museveni remarked as athletics from 12 different disciplines.
Mrs Museveni drew from the scriptures to equate their expectations, citing Luke 12:48: “To whom much has been given, much is expected.”
The World Championships starts Friday in Oregon while the Commonwealth Games are due in a fortnight.
Last year, Uganda won four medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan with Joshua Cheptegei scooping 10000m silver and 5000m gold and Peruth Chemutai the 3000m steeplechase gold.
Jacob Kiplimo got bronze over the 10000m too to cap Uganda’s best show in Olympic history. However, Team Uganda had to contend with bad PR after weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko attempted to vanish within the Asian nation.
Now, President Museveni largely tipped athletes during his speech.
“Whenever I get a chance to speak about sports, I always tell you the advantages,” said Museveni. “Sports are good for fitness. Sports builds character, I have told you that before. Part of the character is not giving up.
“You need discipline to guard that talent. Once you cover those areas, the other one is the realisation that the body is capable of big achievements,” added Museveni, a man who often reminds the public that he was a sportsman.
Museveni later handed the flag to Cheptegei, who will bid to defend his 10000m world title at the Hayward Field in Eugene in five days.
The Rugby 7s Cranes and She Cranes also received the flag ahead of business in Birmingham.
Uganda Olympic Committee president Donald Rukare trusts that the contingent of nine disciplines to Birmingham will scale the heights. “We promise that in Birmingham we are going to exceed our previous performances,” he said.
Uganda won two medals; Cheptegei’s 10000m gold and Halimah Nakaayi’s 800m gold at the previous World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, three years ago. At the previous Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia four years ago, Uganda won six medals.
The Oregon-bound team is scheduled to depart tonight.
Team to Oregon Worlds
Halimah Nakaayi 800m
Winnie Nanyondo 1500m
Peruth Chemutai 3000m SCS
Esther Chebet 5000m
Mercyline Chelangat 10000m
Stella Chesang 10000m
Immaculate Chemutai Marathon
Tarsis Orogot 200m
Ronald Musagala 1500m
Peter Maru 5000m
Oscar Chelimo 5000m
Jacob Kiplimo 10000m
Stephen Kissa 10000m
Joshua Cheptegei 5000m, 10000m
Filex Chemonges Marathon
Fred Musobo Marathon
Jackson Kiprop Marathon