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2020 Olympic Preparations: Uganda Hopes To Send Athletes in 5 Disciplines

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The Head of Mission and Committee Member, Beatrice Ayikoru, told Uganda Radio Network-URN that since 2018, the committee has been involved in several activities, which include identifying federations that are most likely to deliver athletes who will qualify for the Olympics games.
13 Jan 2020 07:05
US -based rower, Grace Noble Kathleen has qualified to represent Uganda in Olympics single cull category. Courtesy Photo

Audio 6

The local Olympics organizing committee targets present athletes from five disciplines in the summer Olympics scheduled for mid this year. The five disciplines include athletics, boxing and weightlifting. 

There is also hope for skateboard and rugby teams. The Committee is waiting for the qualification competitions to end before confirming the exact number of disciplines and athletes who will take part in the games.

The Olympics will run from July 24-9 August 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.  206 countries including Uganda are expected to compete in 50 disciplines. Chaired by the Sports minister, local Olympics organizing committee comprises officials from the National Council of Sports-NCS and Uganda Olympic Committee-UOC. 

The Head of Mission and Committee Member, Beatrice Ayikoru, told Uganda Radio Network-URN that since 2018, the committee has been involved in several activities, which include identifying federations that are most likely to deliver athletes who will qualify for the Olympics games.    

Initially, 11 federations and associations including that of basketball, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, athletics and chess were identified. Boxing, swimming, weightlifting, rugby and skateboarding athletes were also targeted. She however, says a few months to the Olympics, Ugandan athletes have high chances in qualifying in only 5 sports disciplines. 

The qualifiers for the 5 disciplines will run from February to June this year.  So far, Uganda has secured slots in athletics and rowing, after 16 runners including Joshua Cheptegei and a rower, Grace Noble Kathleen qualified for the games. The 24- year-old US based Kathleen qualified after winning the 2km single cull race at the 2019 Africa Rowing Regatta held in Tunisia. 

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In 2018, the committee drew a total budget of Shillings 4 billion for preparations and participation in the Olympics. Ayikoru says the money has been allocated in tranches through three financial years- 2018/2019, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. 

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Ayikoru says that the committee expects to send a delegation of 50 people including athletes, technical and government officials for this year’s Olympics. The international Olympic Committee-IOC has issued 10 tickets for team Uganda to access venues in Tokyo.  6 tickets are for athletes and 4 for officials. 

Government has to secure tickets for the rest of the delegation.  Funds for allowances, feeding and transport costs are part of the Shillings 4 billion budget for Olympic preparations and participation. 

However, the athletes and technical crew, who reside in the Olympic village, receive free feeding and accommodation provided by the hosting country while government officials will pay for their feeding and accommodation at designated hotels. 

Ayikoru says government will pay allowances to athletes and technical officials and other members of the delegation.            

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The Secretary General of the Uganda Olympic Committee, Dr. Donald Rukare says that it will be great if Uganda sends between 30 to 40 athletes up from 21 in 2016 and 15 in 2012. He says that there are great expectations for more athletes to qualify for Olympics including swimmers. 




Rukare, who is also the President Uganda Swimming Federation, says Uganda also expects to send two swimmers to the Olympics under the universality window, where faster losers who don’t meet the standard time are considered.    However, the international water sports governing body-FINA is yet to release the list of swimmers who will participate in the Olympics under the universality card. UOC is also interested in ensuring that all qualifying athletes and members of the delegation are accredited in time for the games.


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Rukare also says that UOU has provided support to athletes, coaches, sports administrators and projects to promote Olympic culture since 2017 in preparation for the 2020 Olympics. UOC pays Joshua Cheptegei, Halimah Nakaayi, Esther Chebet, Jacob Kiplimo and Albert Chemutai monthly stipends of US$1,000 for training ahead of the Olympics.

 It also gave the men’s Rugby team US$100,000 as team support among other activities. 


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