Rower Noble to get Uganda dream rolling

Tuesday July 20 2021

First off. Rower Noble checks in at the Games Village after her arrival in Tokyo on Sunday. PHOTO | AISHA NASSANGA

By Allan Darren Kyeyune

Kathleen Noble’s rowing career will reach its pinnacle when she debuts at the Tokyo Olympics, which get underway on Friday.

Her appearance at the quadrennial Games is largely historic. She will become the country’s first-ever competitor in a rowing event at the Olympics.

Noble’s many firsts

Also, the US-based athlete in company of her coach Ahsan Ikbal, became the first Ugandan to enter the Tokyo Games’ Village upon arrival on Sunday. The firsts for Noble are not done yet.

The 26-year-old will also get Uganda’s quest for medals underway when she dips her boat and two oars in for the single sculls Heats on Friday.

“I hadn’t even realised that I would be the first to compete but I guess that’s true since I race on Friday morning,” she said.


“It will be an honour and a relief to kick off these long awaited Games!” added the daughter of missionaries Gerry Noble and Moira Noble.

Noble will be followed by Bombers’ captain Shadir Bwogi, who enters the ring at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan for the welterweight last 32 bout on Saturday. 

Flyweight Catherine Nanziri on July 25 and middleweight David Ssemujju on July 26. Atuhaire Ambala will dive into the Tokyo Aquatics Centre for the men’s 100m freestyle Heats on July 27.

Uganda’s busiest day will be July 30 with at most 11 athletes in action. If Bwogi is still in, he will line-up for the welterweight quarterfinals whereas Kirabo Namutebi will swim in the 50m freestyle Heats.

Namutebi arrives in Tokyo today, according team’s media attache Aisha Nassanga.

On Day One of track and field events at the Olympic Stadium, nine Ugandans will show up with Albert Chemutai going first in the 3000m steeplechase Heats.

Halimah Nakaayi and Winnie Nanyondo will follow in the women’s 800m Heats before Esther Chebet, Prisca Chemweno and Sarah Chelangat run in the 5000m Heats. 

Uganda could land a first medal when Joshua Cheptegei, Stephen Kissa and Jacob Kiplimo get the 10000m Final underway at 2:30pm local time.