UOC wants unique Olympics do

Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo have got records tumbling.

The sports sphere in Uganda is living in arguably its best era. The country has achieved so much.

Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo have got records tumbling. Together with Peruth Chemutai, they delivered Uganda’s best-ever show at the Olympics when they collected four medals at the Tokyo 2020 Games in Japan three years ago.

Now, the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) is carrying high ambitions going to the Paris 2024 Games next month. “I believe we can set more records,” remarked International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member William Blick, the immediate past UOC president.

NBL managing director Adu Rando (L) shows off the dummy cheque alongside UOC boss Donald Rukare. PHOTO/DARREN ALLAN KYEYUNE 

UOC at the weekend intensified its countdown to the Games which run July 26 to August 11 with an evening event at Skyz Hotel Naguru where they unveiled partners for the road to Paris.

“We are excited about Paris 2024 because for many of you who recall, Tokyo 2020 happened before COVID-19,” Team Uganda chef de mission Moses Mwase remarked.

Partners unveiled officially included Sanlam Insurance and Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) under brand Nile Special who announced a Shs200m package. “Sports is one of the major disciplines that has consistently put our country on our world map,” said Nile Special’s brand manager Joel Galla.

Deborah Mwesigwa, General Manager – Business, Sanlam Insurance, signs as UOC officials Rukare (R) and Moses Mwase look on. PHOTO/GEORGE KATONGOLE 

There was also paint manufacturer Kansai Plascon, who contributed Shs125m to the Paris-bound team. “We’ve been pushing Ugandan sport. We felt the Olympics are the ultimate display of Uganda’s talent and prowess,” stated Plascon’s marketing chief Daniel Kayongo.

UOC is further working with Uganda Tourism Board and the French Embassy in Uganda as key strategic partners. UOC projects 35 athletes, especially if the Rugby Cranes pass the repechage 7s test in Monaco, France this week, will make it to Paris.

The country has secured 24 slots already in athletics, swimming, rowing and cycling and there are plans to expand the Olympics experience across the country. “We shall have 60 activation points across the country where you can support Team Uganda,” said UOC president Dr. Donald Rukare.

Mwase stated the two quota slots for swimmers will be sealed after June 23. Gloria Muzito, Kirabo Namutebi, Tendo Mukalazi and Jesse Ssengonzi are the lead contenders.

Uganda’s biggest medal prospects missed the evening but assured the audience in video messages. “I am preparing so hard for the Paris Olympic Games,” stated reigning 5000m Olympic champion Cheptegei. “Thank you to our partners for the support. I am preparing,” 3000m steeplechase Olympic queen Chemutai followed.

NBL managing director Adu Rando (L) signs alongside UOC boss Rukare. 

“The Olympics are nearby. I would like to say that I am doing my preparations so that I can compete favorably for the Olympics. I am sorry I can’t be with you,” said Kiplimo, before a uniform handicap.

Mwase announced that the team’s general team manager will be National Council of Sports (NCS) assistant general secretary David Katende, John Barnes Ssentamu will be the media attaché while NCS’ Dovic Nassuna will be the team administrator.

2024 OLYMPICS NOTEBOOK

Host city: Paris, France

City Hosting: 3rd (1900, 1924, 2024)

Motto: Ouvrons grand les Jeux (Games wide open)

Events: 329 in 32 sports

Dates: Jul 26 - Aug 11, 2024

Team Uganda Contingent: 35 competitors (projected)

UOC Sponsors: Nile Special, Plascon, Sanlam, UTB, French Embassy in Uganda

Opening Ceremony: Jardins du Trocadéro and the Seine

Closing Ceremony: Stade de France

TEAM UGANDA TO PARIS 2024 GAMES

Athletics: Tarsis Orogot (200m), Oscar Chelimo (5000m), Jacob Kiplimo (5000m & 10000m), Joshua Cheptegei (5000m & 10000m), Victor Kiplangat, Stephen Kissa and Andrew Rotich Kwemoi (All Marathon), Halimah Nakaayi (800m), Winnie Nanyondo (1500m), Sarah Chelangat (5000m & 10000m), Joy Cheptoyek (5000m & 10000m), Peruth Chemutai (3000m steeplechase), Stella Chesang, Mercyline Chelangat, and Rebecca Chelangat (All Marathon)

Cycling: Charles Kagimu (Men’s Road Race)

Rowing: Kathleen Grace Noble (Women’s Single Sculls)

Pending Disciplines: Rugby 7s, Swimming

UGANDA AT THE OLYMPICS

Games: 15 games in 13 countries

Events: 59 distinct events in 9 sports

Participants: 178 (150 men and 27 women)

Youngest Participant: Charles Lubulwa (15 years, 206 days), Moscow 1980

Oldest Participant: Elly Kitamireke (41 years, 16 days), Munich 1972

Most medals (Athlete): Leo Rwabwogo (2 medals)

Note: Excludes Tokyo 2020 stats

UGANDA’S MEDALS AT OLYMPICS

1968 Mexico City: Eridadi Mukwanga (Bantamweight Silver)

1968 Mexico City: Leo Rwabwogo (Flyweight Bronze)

1972 Munich: John Akii-Bua (400m Hurdles Gold)

1972 Munich: Leo Rwabwogo (Flyweight Silver)

1980 Moscow: John Mugabi (Welterweight Silver)

1996 Atlanta: Davis Kamoga (400m Bronze)

2012 London: Stephen Kiprotich (Marathon Gold)

2020 Tokyo: Joshua Cheptegei (10000m Silver)

2020 Tokyo: Jacob Kiplimo (10000m Bronze)

2020 Tokyo: Peruth Chemutai (3000m Steeplechase Gold)

2020 Tokyo: Joshua Cheptegei (5000m Gold)