Uganda representation in upcoming 2020 Olympics
As different countries continue to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics scheduled to kick off on July 24th and run up to August 9th, Uganda has already unveiled the number of athletes representing the country. The teams participating in the event will compete across 50 disciplines, including athletics, gymnastics, swimming, boxing and weightlifting, to name a few.
Normally, Uganda takes a team of players to represent them in only a few events like boxing, athletics, badminton, weightlifting, and swimming. As such, the country has sent a team of 10-21 athletes to represent them in the Olympics since 2008, with most of them being the runners up. However, Uganda expects to increase the number of players in their team in this year’s event.
According to UAF president Domenic Otucet, the federation is working hard to make sure Uganda sends around 30 athletes in road and track events. That will be a significant increase from the 2016 Rio Olympics, where 17 athletes represented the country. In 2012, the country sent only 11 athletes in London and seven players in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. That shows the country is constantly improving and raising their numbers with every event.
The federation is in the process of training and preparing talents from all over the country to try and get the number of athletes required for the Olympics. Fortunately, the country is full of fresh talent, which has been nurtured by companies like Betway Uganda, charitable organizations and the government. Betway has made major contributions to the Ugandan sports market, also sponsoring basketball and football clubs.
While preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, the athletes will test their skills in the qualifier competitions like the Africa Cross Country Championship, Africa Senior Championship, and IAAF U-20 Championships. The qualifiers started last year with a marathon and 10,000Km, scheduled for 2019 January to 2020 May. Other events were slated for 2019 July to 2020 June.
According to UAF president Otucet, 16 athletes have booked their tickets for the Olympics, though more are still being prepared. Otucet also revealed that these athletes would compete in the qualifier games that will be hosted in Kenya, Algeria, and Togo later in the year. Additionally, the federation is planning to hold regional and national trials to select fresh talent for the qualifier competitions.
The federation plans to hold the trial every two weeks in March. As such, athletes who can’t make it to the national stage can be part of the trials which will be held in West Nile, Busoga, North Eastern, South West and Central regions. Otucet further revealed that the federation is holding talks with international managers working with elite athletes over participation in national and international events as they muscle-up for the 2020 Olympics.
Together with other officials and technical support, the Ugandan delegation to the Olympics this year could reach 50. That will be the country’s biggest entry since the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Their track and field team will be led by 2019 World Cross Country champion Joshua Cheptegei alongside other stars like American-based rower Grace Noble Kathleen.
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