Pursuit League: Points tweak makes third edition tricky to call

The league now has five teams; Jets and Flames have been added to Astros, Colts and Talons - but will continue to have 40 matches. PHOTO/ISMAIL KEZAALA 
 

What you need to know:

In football terms, this makes every match day sort of a cup final. You just have to win or be competitive in many small cups to have a chance of winning the overall big cup.
 

The third edition of the Pursuit League, formerly Uganda Swimming League, started with swimmers in usual competitive form but with a few tweaks.

The league now has five teams; Jets and Flames have been added to Astros, Colts and Talons - but will continue to have 40 matches.

There will also be no cumulative points this season. The best team per match day will receive five points while the last gets one point so there will be no big totals to chase but just fine margins.

In football terms, this makes every match day sort of a cup final. You just have to win or be competitive in many small cups to have a chance of winning the overall big cup.

"This will make it competitive because winning on a match day is quickly rewarded unlike in the past two seasons when dominating on a given day was not enough as teams had to chase hundreds of points," Erick Kisero, the league manager, said.

Liora Lumu got the adrenaline on Match Day One soaring as she clocked 1:22.87 (one minute, 22 seconds and 87 microseconds) for her 100m freestyle personal best.

She was quickly followed by her teammate Mikaela Ayebare (1:18.35) and later brother Adriel Lumu (1:13.97).

Astros siblings Tanja Atukunda (1:18.61) and Caspian Guma (1:14.48) also posted the only PBs on a tough day for their team. They missed their captain Chriton Kato, who is nursing a knee injury and paid for his absence even further in the relays.

Ethan Kalungi made 1:15.01 but his Jets' teammates Sonia Mwere and Elijah Wamala bettered that with 1:11.13. Their lack of leadership saw them disqualified thrice in the relays.

Just behind the Jets' duo in the 100m free ranking was Talons ' lone PB maker Blessing Kaitesi on 1:13.64.

But the defending champions rued a foot injury that saw their captain Abigail Mwagale pull out of her 100m race with just 20 metres left. Fortunately, she returned to compete in the relays to help them fend off competition from Colts.

Flames had Yeta Magola return at 1:14.07 in the 100m free on her first race in over two months but also had the best finisher of the day in Paula Nabukeera (1:09.74). They were dominant in the relays, winning three of 10, and could have upset the odds had it not been for three disqualifications too.

Kisero, who doubles as Altona Swim Club coach, is convinced that even though just 11 of the 24 swimmers had PBs, "there is time to get everyone rolling," as the Uganda Swimming Federation (USF) National Championships are five months away.

OVERALL SCORE

Talons -5 points

Colts -4

Jets -3

Flames -2

Astros -1

MATCH DAY PERFORMANCE 

Event                     Talons Colts Jets Flames Astros  

100m free (PBs)   10         18     24     14          08

4*50m free            30         20     50     40          10

8*25m fly               40         20     50     30          10

4*50m breast        50         40     30     20          10

12*25m back        50         40     -20    -20         30

4*50m medley      40         50     30     20          10

12*25m fly            40         50      -20    -20         30

8*25m breast       50         20     30      40          -20

4*50m back          40         20     50      -20         30

12*25m free         -20        40     20       50         30

4*50m fly              30         40     -20      50         20

Total                     360      358    224     204      168


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