Tuesday, 2 August 2016

OLYMPICS: Cheptegei set for double Rio assault, Police boosts Uganda's team

Joshua Cheptegei wins at the World Juniors. He gets a chance to win a
first senior medal this month.
PHOTO CREDIT Erik van Leeuwen 

Opening ceremony
Friday, August 5 2016 (Saturday 2.00am Uganda time)
Uganda's flag bearer
Swimmer - Joshua Ekirikubinza

The Rio Olympics track and field schedule has handed Uganda's former World and African junior 10000m champion Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei two chances to win his first senior medal.

Cheptegei together with Juliet Chekwel, are the only Ugandan athletes doing a double and have been blessed by a favourable, well spaced schedule. The 10000 metres finals are among the first events at Rio - with the 5000m starting four days later.

Nineteen-year-old Cheptegei, has one of the fastest times in the world this year in the 5000m of 13:00.60 and will be one of the contenders in the 10000m final on August 13, and in the 12.5 lap race on August 17.

Cheptegei is seen as one of the brightest spots on the team, and together with Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich, our best bet for a medal in Brazil.

112:59.29Mohamed FARAH23 MAR 1983GBRGBR1London (Olympic Stadium)23 JUL 2016
212:59.43Muktar EDRIS14 JAN 1994ETHETH1Eugene (Hayward Field), OR28 MAY 2016
312:59.89Dejen GEBREMESKEL24 NOV 1989ETHETH1Somerville, MA17 JUN 2016
12:59.96Muktar EDRIS14 JAN 1994ETHETH1Shanghai14 MAY 2016
412:59.98Geoffrey Kipsang KAMWOROR22 NOV 1992KENKEN2Eugene (Hayward Field), OR28 MAY 2016
513:00.20Hagos GEBRHIWET11 MAY 1994ETHETH2Somerville, MA17 JUN 2016
613:00.60Joshua Kiprui CHEPTEGEI12 SEP 1996UGAUGA2Shanghai14 MAY 2016

Chekwel carries women's flag

Chekwel,26, carries the flag for Ugandan women distance runners, and will feature in the 10000m final on August 12, before getting another shot at glory on August 16 in the 5000m final. 

First in action however for team Uganda will be the boxers and swimmers. 

Light heavyweight boxer Kennedy Katende climbs the ring 7pm on Sunday August 7 to face Joshua Buatasi of the United Kingdom, before Jamila Lunkuse dives into the pool for the preliminary, 100m breaststroke race same day.

Athletics only starts on August 12, with the last runners in action on the final day, in the marathon.

Outside Ugandan runners, one of the highlights of the track and field events is the 100m final, Sunday August 14.

Uganda's Boxing schedule
Kennedy Katende Men's light heavyweight August 7
Ronald Serugo Men's flyweight  August 13

Uganda's Swimming schedule
Sunday August 7
Jamila Lunkuse 100m breaststroke

Thursday August 11
Joshua Ekirikubinza Men's 50 m freestyle

Uganda's Athletics schedule
Friday August 12 Day 7
Women's 10000m women

Saturday August 13 Day 8
Women's 3000m Steeplechase round 1
10000m men

Sunday August 14 Day 9 
Women's marathon

Monday August 15 Day 10
men's 3000m steeplechase round 1
women 3000m steeplecahse final

Tuesday August 16 Day 11
women's 5000m round 1
Men's 1500m round 1

Wed August 17 Day Day 12
Men's 5000m round 1
women's 800m round 1
Men's steeplecahse final

Thursday August 18 Day 13
Men's 1500m semifinal
Men's 800m semifinal

Friday August 19 Day 14
women's 5000m final

Saturday August 20 Day 15
Men's 1500m final
Women's 800m final
Men's 5000m final

Sunday August 21 Day 16
Men's Marathon final

State send off

The Uganda team is expected to be flagged off at State House hours before flying out to Rio on Sunday. Athletics federation president and Olympic team manager Dominic Otuchet will lead  the second batch to Rio that has 14 runners, as boxers and swimmers left earlier.

The first batch, the boxers and swimmers left earlier, with Joshua Ekirikubinza set to carry the Ugandan flag at the opening ceremony.

The final batch, the marathon team of  Kiprotich, Jackson Kiprop and Solomon Mutai will stay in high altitude training in Uganda until August 15,  5 days to their race on the final day. 

Uganda's team to Rio comprises 21, 14 men and 7 women. 

"The training has gone well, and all signs are that we will do well in Rio," Otuchet said.

At the last games, Uganda won one medal,  gold from Kiprotich int he marathon.

The track team will be coached by Faustine Kiwa, a coaches instructor supported by Italian Giuseppe Giambrone and Grace Chesang.

FLASH BACK: Museveni sends off the Uganda team to London with a joke.

Uganda's track and field team comprises:

Juliet Chekwel 5000m/10000m
Peruth Chemutai 3000m steeplechase
Stella Chesang 5000m
Halimah Nakaayi 800m
Winnie Nanyondo 800m
Adero Nyakisi Marathon
Jacob Araptany 3000 m steeplechase
Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei 5000m/ 10000 m
Benjamin Kiplagat 3000m steeplechase
Jacob Kiplimo 5000m
Jackson Kiprop Marathon
Stephen Kiprotich
Phillip Kipyego 5000m
Moses Kurong 10000m
Ronald Musagala 1500m
Solomon Mutai Marathon
Timothy Toroitich 10000m

Uganda gets Nike boost

Kale Kayihura hands over kit that Police helped clear to UOC president William
Blick, UAF  president Otuchet and Omara Opitta of the Sports ministry.
PHOTO CREDIT @allandarren

Uganda's Olympic team will travel with their kit to Rio courtesy of Uganda Police and Nike.

Because of hight taxes on sports equipment, Uganda has at previously asked their suppliers to deliver kit at the games, which has often come with one or two hitches.

At one Olympics, taxes amounted to sh88 million, with local officials only able to access the kit well after the games are over. Local sports officials have still failed to secure a government waiver on taxes on this kit.

Uganda Police, who have one of the strongest track and field clubs in the country that includes Cheptegei in their ranks, helped clear the kit this time. Prisons are the national champions, with Kiprotich among their runners.

IGP Kale Kayihura today handed over the kit from Nike, team Uganda's news sponsors, at a brief ceremony. 

"We are proud to be dressed by Nike, who support only the top ranked track and field countries like Kenya," said Uganda Athletics Federation president Otuchet.

Nike's new track and field sponsorship started this year and runs to 2019, and according to Otuchet, the athletics federation lobbied for kit to be provided to the entire Uganda team.

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