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Sprinter Shida Leni’s Commonwealth Preparations Hindered by Closure of Namboole

According to Leni, sprinters and middle-distance runners need a smooth surface to increase their speed. She adds that if Namboole continues to be closed, it will be a big blow for them.
Shida Leni, she is the only sprinter in team Uganda, she participated in the 400m women but she did not progress from her heat

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The closure of Namboole Stadium is affecting the preparations of Shida Leni.  Leni was the only sprinter that represented Uganda in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

Currently, she is embarking on preparation for the forthcoming commonwealth games.

Leni who needs a tartan to train thrice a week explained that by the end of last year they were allowed to train in Namboole but at the beginning of this year, the stadium was closed again after it started receiving covid1-9 patients.

According to Leni, she was forced to use the track at Kyambogo University which doesn’t have the requirements she needs.  

//Cue in: I don’t train …    

Cue out: … we are training on”//

According to Leni, sprinters and middle-distance runners need a smooth surface to increase their speed. She adds that if Namboole continues to be closed, it will be a big blow for them. 

//Cue in: if you look at … 

Cue out: … speed and so on”//

According to the Uganda Athletics Federation 2022 calendar, the first national trials for athletes are expected to take place at the beginning of March, but it remains unclear whether Namboole will be available for the events. Last year, UAF was forced to cancel the first and second national trials due to the unavailability of Namboole stadium.

Meanwhile, the stadium also awaits renovation as proposed by the government earlier. In May last 2020, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) disqualified Mandela National Stadium from hosting the 2022 world cup qualifiers, as well as the Afcon qualifiers and any other continental and international engagement saying the facility is substandard.   

The football bodies found the pitch, toilets, pavilion, and dressing rooms at the Mandela Stadium in a very bad shape and recommended total renovation. Mandela Stadium has been the home ground for the national team, the Uganda Cranes since 2002.

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