Second Batch of Ugandan Olympians Departs for Japan

Beatrice Ayikoru, Chief de Mission at the Uganda Olympic committee, says the team comprising four athletes will intensify training as they wait for the finals games.

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The second contingent of team Uganda in the Olympic Games has departed the country for Japan for preparations ahead of the summer games slated to take place between July and August 2021.

Beatrice Ayikoru, Chief de Mission at Uganda Olympic committee, says the team comprising four athletes will  intensify their training in Japan as they wait for the finals games.

According to Ayikoru, the second contingent comprises 5000M runner Esther Chebet, sprinter Shida Leni who will participate in the 400m, Sarah Chelengat, who will participate in the 5000m race and Albert Chemutai who will compete in the 3000m Steeplechase men. 

Ayikoru told URN that the team will go to Tateshena city in Japan where they will have a two week’s training camp before they storm the Tokyo Olympic village. Shida Leni, 27 who qualified through the latest world athletics rankings that selected athletes with a good time, said this is a dream come true. She is currently ranked 41 in the 400m race, according to the World Athletics body.

Last week, President Yoweri Museveni officially flagged off team Uganda at an event held at Kololo. In his remarks, Museveni called upon the athletes to maintain discipline while in Japan and urged them to protect themselves against the COVID-19 by avoiding public interactions.

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The first batch of Ugandan Olympians left for Japan last month. The team comprised five athletes from three disciplines including boxing, swimming and weightlifting. However, two team members tested positive for COVID-19 upon their arrival in Japan, which prompted the organizers to quarantine the entire team in their hotel in Izumisano City until last week. 

Ayikoru said the first batch will also go to the Olympic Village on July 20th, 2021. The third batch of the Olympians is expected to leave on July 25th 2021. This will comprise middle distance runners, Ronald Musagala, Winnie Nanyondo, Halima Nakaayi, long-distance runners Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Kiplimo, Oscar Chelimo, Prisca Chesang, Peruth Chemutai, and Stephen Kissa. 

Uganda has paraded a team of 27 athletes from different disciplines including athletics, rowing, swimming, boxing and weightlifting. However, the team is majorly dominated by runners. The team has 20 runners, 3 from boxing 2 from swimming and one from rowing. Team Uganda for men will be captained by Steven Kiprotich who won Gold in the 12 summer games in London while the women’s team will be captained by 800m champion Halima Nakaayi. 

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