Emotional win as Bolt crowns his career

Usain Bolt could not lose – the 35,000 dancing, roaring, horn-blowing worshippers inside Kingston’s National Stadium would never have allowed it.

Not after the build-up. Not after an ordained minister led a prayer in his honour; not after a procession of dignitaries paid tribute to “the most famous Jamaican of all time”; not after his every gold medal-winning moment was greeted with deafening cheers as they were relived on the big screens; not after he was introduced to the crowd from an open-top car, before walking through a ceremonial brass band onto a red carpet that had been laid on the finishing straight for his feet only; and not after he had departed for his warm-up to the sound of Frank Sinatra’s My Way.

No, there was no way Bolt could lose. And he did not. Jamaica’s favourite son said farewell in his last ever race on home soil with yet another victory on Saturday night.

In honesty, the task was not a difficult one. Some significant massaging of the Racers Grand Prix entry lists had left Bolt facing a host of faded Jamaican sprinting talent in the “Salute To A Legend” 100m race, while the fastest men competing in Kingston – his training partner Yohan Blake and South Africa’s Akani Simbine – were left to their own private battle in the international 100m.

Not that the crowd cared the slightest bit. Bolt’s victory in a pedestrian 10.03sec, after one of his trademark slow starts, was greeted with unbridled, chaotic joy. Fireworks erupted, the blare of horns was relentless and the party began as a stream of dancehall stars took to the field. It was sheer euphoria.

 

 

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Foreign teams get set for world cricket event, Uganda faces Canada tomorrow

Three national teams from Canada, Oman and Singapore have arrived ahead of the 2017 International Cricket Board (ICC) World Cricket League Division 3.

The Canada and Oman teams jetted in on Saturday, while Singapore arrived on Sunday. Six nations will take part in the Championship which runs May 23-30. The best two teams will qualify for slots in Division 2 and also make it to the next round of the 2019 World Cup qualifiers.

The qualifier for the World Cup will be contested after the conclusion of Division II and will determine which two teams will go to England and Wales in 2019.

“We are on track with our preparations and determined to pull off a successful event. Our volunteers are working to ensure the tournament is an overwhelming success,” Tournament Director Justine Ligyalingi, who is the UCA CEO, chipped in about the progress of the preparations.

“We are happy to be here and we shall definitely play every game like a final,” Canada’s Nitish Kumar told URN at Africana Hotel .

Canada who have been warming up with games in Zimbabwe have two Caribbean Premier League T20 players in its ranks in Hamza Tariq and Nikhil Dutta. Oman have also impressed throughout the qualification process starting in Division 5 and spectacularly climbing the ladder.

During that time Oman has also performed well in the ICC World Twenty20 qualification process and remarkably remain in contention to qualify for both ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and ICC World Twenty20

The six teams will have practice on Monday before the opening games on May 23rd with Uganda facing Canada at the Lugogo Oval, while Malaysia take on Singapore at the Kyambogo Oval and USA battle Oman at the Entebbe Oval.

 

 

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FUFA president Magogo appointed member of executive committee of CAF

The President of the Uganda FA, Moses Magogo has today been co-opted as a member of the executive committee of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) for 2017-2021.

The appointment took place on Monday during the CAF Congress in Manama, Bahrain ahead of the FIFA Congress which will take place in the same place on Thursday.

Magogo was very instrumental in canvassing for votes when Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad beat long serving CAF President Issa Hayatou during the CAF General Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in March this year.

“In recognition of the progress of football development in Uganda and contribution towards African football, I have been appointed a member of the CAF Executive Committee 2017 – 2021 and a member of the CAF Reforms Committee,” said Magogo.

At the same Congress Ghana’s FA President and Fifa Council member for Africa, Kwesi Nyantakyi was named the 1st Vice President for CAF, while Constant Omari of the DR Congo is 2nd Vice President.

Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigeria FA was also appointed President of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and media committees of CAF, while Zambia’s Kalusha Bwalya is chairman of the CAF technical and development committee. Djibouti’s FA President, Sulaiman Waberi was appointed chairman of the referee’s committee.

 

 

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Tennis Queen, Serena William expecting her first child

The American, 35, is due to give birth in the autumn, says her representative.

The world number two posted a picture on social media site Snapchat, posing in a mirror with the message: “20 weeks”, before deleting it.

Williams will miss the rest of the season, having not played since winning in Melbourne, citing a knee injury.

Williams, who will return to world number one next week, would be eligible to retain her ranking under the WTA special ranking rule if she is ready to play her first tournament within 12 months of giving birth.

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka gave birth to her first child in December and is expected to return to competition at the end of July.

Belgium’s Kim Clijsters, meanwhile, won the US Open in 2009 just 18 months after giving birth to her daughter.

Winning a Grand Slam while pregnant – analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller:

The news would suggest that Serena won the Australian Open while roughly eight weeks into her pregnancy.

We are very unlikely to see her compete in another Grand Slam before the French Open of 2018. That event will take place four months before her 37th birthday – but do not write off a woman who will return to world number one on Monday.

Azarenka is a useful guide. Even though she is eight years younger, the Belarusian returned to serious training in March after giving birth in December and is targeting the WTA event in Stanford at the end of July for her return.

US Open Tennis responded to Williams’ message by saying: “Serena Williams will have a new pride and joy to hug and call her own soon! Congratulations on the exciting baby announcement!”

Celebrated Geoffrey Massa hangs his Uganda Cranes Jersey

Uganda Cranes captain Geoffrey Massa has thrown in the towel and announced his retirement from the national team.

Massa who skippered Uganda Cranes at the 2017 Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) said on Wednesday that he has enjoyed his 12 years featuring for the national team.

“It is with immense pride that I announce my retirement from the national football team after representing the country for 12 years,” said Massa in his letter sent to the Uganda FA on Wednesday.

Massa who said he intends to continue with his football playing career at club level is however clubless after South Africa Premier League side Baroka FC terminated his contract in January this year together with another Cranes player Khalid Aucho.

The striker who has not enjoyed good form for club and country in the last six months also thanked the national team past coaches and current coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic for having believed in him.

“The experience of representing my country at the 2017 Afcon in Gabon was truly memorable, while the feeling after winning three Cecafa Challenge Cup titles and becoming the all-time Nations/World Cup qualifying top scorer with 14 goals was quite satisfying,” he added. He also added that he is proud to have played over 80 games for the national team and scored over 30 goals.

Massa started his started his club football with Police FC in the Uganda Premier League. He also played for Al-Masry, El Shams and Itesalat FC in Egypt, Yenicami Agdelen SK in Cyprus and Jomo Cosmos, Bloemfontein Celtics, University of Pretoria and Baroka FC.

When contacted national team head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic said that he wishes Massa well in his next move.

The Uganda FA said they will help Massa to develop a career of his choice in football which could be in administration, management and the technical aspect. Former national team captain David Obua told URN that Massa had done a lot for his country and will always be remembered for guiding the team to the 2017 Afcon.

 

 

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Team Kenya triumphs at the World Cross country Championships, Uganda comes third

Uganda have finished third overall in the 2017 World Cross Country Championship that climaxed at the Kololo Independence ground on Sunday.

Team Uganda finished with 35 points after bagging one goal medal and two bronze medals. Kenya who dominated the competition won the overall team event with three gold medals, four silver medals and two bronze medals to bag 79 points.

Ethiopia who won the last competition in China were second with 58 points. Baharain and Eritrea were fourth and fifth respectively.

Kenya was dominant in the mixed relay, Senior women and senior men races at the Kololo Independence grounds.

Kenya’s team of Asbel Kiprop, Winfred Nzisa Mbithe, Bernard Kiprorir Koros and Beatrice Chepkoech started off the day in style by winning the first ever mixed relay (8km) gold medal.

In the second race of the day women’s U-20 race (6km) saw Ethiopia win gold, while Kenya was second to settle for silver and hosts Uganda in third place with a bronze medal.

Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo was in good form as he bagged the country first ever World Cross Country gold medal when he won the U-20 men’s race with a time of 22.40 over 8km.

The Kenyans who were cheered on by over 200 traveling fans dominated the women’s senior race with six runners occupying the first six places. Irene Chepet Cheptai won the race with a time of 31:57, while Alice Aprot Nawowuna came second.

In the men’s senior race Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei dominated most of the race, but was unlucky to get tired later as Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor retained his gold medal he won in China at the previous Championship. Ethiopia however won the team event gold medal, while Kenya picked silver and Uganda a bronze medal.

 

 

 

 

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Kiplimo does hosting Ugandans proud

Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo was in good form as he bagged the country’s first ever World Cross Country gold medal when he won the U-20 men’s race with a time of 22.40 over 8km.

Yemane Haileselassie of Eritrea led the runners through the first lap under sweltering temperatures at the Kololo Independence ground, but Kiplimo kept his steady run.

But Kiplimo who is the world U-20 10,000 bronze medalist later broke away with a heavy kick that saw him burst to the finishing tape. It was all smiles as the guest of honour President Yoweri Museveni and his wife Janat Museveni took photos with Kiplimo.

Ethiopia’s Amdework Walelegn with a time of 22:43, while Kenya’s Kimunyan took bronze with a time of 22:52. “I am so happy that my hard work has finally paid off,” said a happy Kiplimo after the race.

In the other races Kenya’s team of Asbel Kiprop, Winfred Nzisa Mbithe, Bernard Kiprorir Koros and Beatrice Chepkoech won the first ever mixed relay gold medal. The women’s U-20 race was won by Ethiopia for the team event, while Kenya’s U-20 women swept the first six positions to emerge top in the team event.

Uganda Cranes players to receive 27M each for Afcon participation

Uganda Cranes players will each pocket UGX27,150,000 for making the team at the 2017 Total Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

“We agreed that each of the 23 players who made it to Gabon will get US$7,500 (UGX27,150,00) as appearance fees at the event,” Uganda FA head of Finance, Decolas Kiiza told URN on Saturday night at the Port Gential Stadium where the Cranes lost 1-0 to Egypt.

Kizza explained that although the government only budgeted for U$5,000 for the players as appearance at the competition, the FA decided to top-up and make it US$7,500.

He said they had negotiated with the team that for each win at the Afcon each player pockets US$3,000 (UGX10,860,000) and US$1,500 (UGX5,430,000) for a draw. The Federation had also fixed another US$7,500 (UGX27,150,000) for qualification for the semi final stage.

But the Finance Director said all the bonuses to the team are meant to come from the cash prize that the team will pocket at the Afcon. In-case the team comes 4th they will bag UGX1,719,500,000 (US$475,000). The government released USX2 billion towards the Cranes preparations and participation at Afcon.

After losing the opening match 1-0 to the Black Stars of Ghana and following it up with the same margin loss to Egypt, the Uganda Cranes became the first team to exit the tournament.

“We have learnt a lot from this experience. All the games played at 2017 Afcon continue to make us a better brand,” said head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic. The Cranes have today traveled to Oyem where they will face Mali in the last group D match on Wednesday.

 

 

 

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We shall not over respect Ghana says Coach Micho

The curtains will be drawn at the Stade de Port Gentil this evening when Uganda Cranes line-up against Ghana in the first group D match at the on-going 2017 Total Africa Cup of Nations Africa (Afcon).

Although the Cranes have had an advantage over Ghana in the last three years, Ghana coach Avram Grant has said a lot should not be tagged to the past but look at the present.

“Yes facing Uganda is not easy, but we are looking at the present and future and not thinking of how we have played against them in the past,” said Grant.

The former Chelsea coach said he expects a very tough encounter adding that a few details will win the game. Team captain Asamoah Gyan said they are here for serious business. “After losing in the final in 2015, we are hungry to go a step further and will take every game as important as possible,” he added.

But Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, the Uganda Cranes coach sounded very confident on how prepared his team is. “We respect the Ghana team, but we shall not over respect them but simply go on the pitch and play good football,” said Sredojevic.

First choice goalkeeper and African Player of the year 2016 (African based) Denis Onyango said opening group games are always very difficult. “We shall treat this game as a final because it is the first one we are playing in Afcon after 39 years of waiting,” added Onyango.

While defender Murushid Juuko and Khalid Aucho are suspended for the game after accumulating two yellow cards during the qualifiers, the Cranes will look to Geoffrey Massa, Tony Mawejje and Farouk Miya are some of the players expected to play pivotal roles for the Uganda Cranes.

Gyan will lead Ghana together with Christian Atsu Twasam and Andre Pierre Ayew. The second group D game will see Egypt facing Mali.

 

 

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City Oilers bag the Championship trophy for the forth time

Defending champions City Oilers on Sunday night humbled Betway Power 78-46 in the game five finals of the National basketball league.

The Oilers who had already scored 3-1 in the best of seven finals series needed only a win to emerge champions of the finals.

Oilers largely dominated the games as they led the entire three quarters out-competing Power with a huge margin by the final whistle. A bad start for the Power side saw the first quarter end 24-10 while the second quarter ended 38-22.

In the third quarter, Oilers maintained the lead as they edged power 65-40. In the last quarter the Oilers took advantage of the exhausted Power defence to make over four pointers that sent City Oilers fans in jubilation.

Jimmy Enabu and Jonah Otim each made 15 points for the Oilers while Michael Kojo and Captain Joseph Ikong made 13 points each for the Power side.

Oilers Coach Monday Juruni said they deserved the win although power put up a good fight. He says as Oilers they look at each team as an opponent to reckon with, and the win is highly attributed to team work, motivation and discipline.

Powers Joseph Ikong described the game as the greatest loss they have registered. He said many of their turnovers cost them the poor game.

Oilers are now champions of the National Basketball League for the fourth time after wins in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

 

 

 

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