Posts tagged as: tournament

Ssematimba in Fitness Race As Cricket Cranes Run Out of Reserves

By Elvis Senono

Kampala — Cricket Cranes coach Steve Tikolo could have a major decision on his hands with less than a week to the start of ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament.

This is after Lawrence Ssematimba admitted he is in a race against time to be fit for the tournament that bowls off in the country on Tuesday.

The first choice wicketkeeper who also missed last month’s Easter Series against Kenya is struggling with a groin injury.

“Previously I would feel pain when I squat but I have been working with the coach and the physiotherapist to see my progress.

“Yesterday I worked out and I was not feeling the pain. But I’ll have to do more squats to assess it,” explained Ssematimba.

“I’ve been pushing hard to see that I improve in the next days. There are more physiotherapists coming from Canada and I’ll be in contact with them to see how they can help.

“During the Kenya Series I was at 50 per cent but now I would say I am at 80 per cent,” added Ssematimba who could be replaced by Naeem Bardai in the 14-man team. The UK-based Bardai was initially one of the four players put on the standby list that has since been reduced to two players. This followed failure by Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) to secure clearance of England based Lloyd Paternott’s in time for the event.

David Wabwire is meanwhile believed to be held back by academic engagements.

“Wabwire is still on the reserve list while Patternott failed to attain the required fitness,” insisted national team coordinator Jeremy Kibuukamusoke when contacted.

Uganda

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Beach Volleyball Teams Target World Cup Ticket

By Peter Kamasa

Rwanda Beach volleyball teams (men and women) are targeting to finish in top four in the forthcoming Africa Beach Volleyball Cup of Nations that will be held from May 12-15 in Mozambique.

The tournament will work as qualifications of the 2017 World Championships. The teams left the country for Maputo on Tuesday morning.

A total of 20 teams will participate in the four-day tournament, with the top 4 qualifying for the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships (double gender) scheduled for July 28-August 6 in Vienna, Austria.

“Our aim is to go far in this competition, since we have managed to be there, we are determined to compete with every team to the best of our ability,” said head coach, Paul Bitok.

The Kenyan trainer said his teams are well prepared and determined to qualify for the World Championships.

He noted, “I believe we can do it. We know the matches will be tough, but we don’t have any other choice, we must focus and give our best. Our objective is to reach at the semi-finals at least.”

The men’s team compromises the pair of brothers Flavier Ndamukunda and Patrick Kavalo Akumuntu, while the women team is made up of Charlotte Nzayisenga and Denise Mutatsimpundu.

The quartet has been in intensive training at Golden Tulip hotel in Nyamata in last two weeks.

Rwanda will need to go past Africa top men’s teams like Tunisia, Morocco and South Africa while in the women category, Rwanda will battle against the likes of Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, Namibia and hosts Mozambique.

Rwanda

Rwandan President Says ICT Should Unite Us, Not Deepen Divides

President Paul Kagame has said that the transformation of the African continent through ICT ought to be inclusive and… Read more »

Poulsen Talks Up Serengeti Boys Chances At Africa Finals

By Majuto Omary

Dar es Salaam — The national youth teams technical advisor, Kim Poulsen, has admitted that the reinstatement of Mali to the 2017 African U17 Championship will make Group B more unpredictable.

However, the Dane was quick to boast that Serengeti Boys were ready for any opponent at the finals, which will kick off next weekend in Gabon.

The Boys are expected to open the finals on April 15 with a date against Mali, who are the defending champions.

The Malians were dumped out of the tournament and their place taken by Ethiopia after their country was banned by Fifa over political interference.

However, the world body reversed the decision recently, which makes Mali eligible for the finals.

The presence of Ethiopia meant that Serengeti Boys had only Angola to fear, but now they will have to play their cards right if they are to reach the semifinal stage.

“There will be a difference, but Serengeti Boys have prepared well for any opponent, so we aren’t losing sleep over the reinstatement of Mali. We have a team that can go all the way to the finals,” said Poulsen.

“Mali are the defending champions, so obviously they will be tough. However, we have played seven matches against big teams and the boys performed well, so it’s our hope that we will hit the ground running.”

Group B matches were to be held in Port Gentil, but the host FA opted to shift them to Libreville.

Poulsen called on the youngsters not to underrate any team at the championship despite beating some of them in the build-up matches.

“We expect every team to be more aggressive at the tournament than during the friendlies, so Serengeti Boys need not to be complacent at all,” he added.

The Dane thanked the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) for facilitating good preparation of the team ahead of the two-week tournament.

Meanwhile; Serengeti Boys will face Cameroon in the second friendly between them today. The match will start at 8pm in Younde.

Tanzania

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Lugalo Golfers Shine At Memorial Tournament

By Brown Msyani

Dar es Salaam — Malius Kajuni punched the air in celebration after being declared the overall winner of the Galinoma Memorial Tournament at the Lugalo Club course on Monday.

Kajuni, who was playing off handicap 24, starved off competition from over 80 competitors after chalking 37 stable ford points.

“I am delighted to win this year’s trophy. It wasn’t easy at all, but I managed to keep my composure top achieve this. It’s my belief that I will perform even better in the forthcoming tournaments,” said the winner.

The 18-hole stable ford tournament saw Aidan Nziku win the Division A title after scoring 29 points followed closely by Juma Likuli who managed 28.

Nziku, who is coming back to his best form, said the secret for his victory was hard work during practice session.

“You know practice makes perfect; I have practiced for a long time and it has borne fruit. The victory has lifted my spirit, so I am now looking to winning the upcoming tournaments,” said Nziku. He added: “This was just a small tournament, but when you win the title, it gives you more confidence to perform better in bigger events. I believe that it has changed something in the golfers.”

The B Division title went to Stephen Chuwalo who chalked 34 points while Noel Mheni settled for the second place with 31 points.

In the C Division, Samuel Mosha was triumphant after garnering 37 points followed by Simon Sayore who scored 27. Speaking after the tournament, Mosha expressed his happiness, vowing to work harder in order to win more titles.

“It was really a nice game. I played well today (Monday) and won the title. I want to continue practicing because I know I will have what it takes to win bigger events,” said elated Mosha.

Fast-rising Habiba Juma took the ladies title after carding 35 points, beating Sophie Mathias by a point.

The senior category prize went to Joseph Tairo who scored 29 points followed by Edmund Mdolwa with 28.

General Galinoma was among the popular members of Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club in the 1990s and early 2000s before joining TPDF Lugalo in the late 2000s.

Tanzania

Govt to Study Drying of Rivers and Lakes

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Sevens – Lionesses Into Series Qualifiers Quarters

Nairobi — The Kenya Lionesses reached the Main Cup quarterfinal at the HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series qualifiers following their 17-7 win over Argentina in Pool B at the So Kon Po Recreation ground in Hong Kong on Thursday.

Janet Owino barged over to see the Lionesses go 5-0 up before the Argentines scored a converted try to go 7-5 up, a lead they held going into the break.

Doreen Remour would convert Celestine Masinde’s try before Sinaida Aura landed her fifth try of the tournament to seal the result and keep the World Series qualification dream alive.

The Kevin Wambua charges needed to beat Argentina to progress after winning one and losing one match.

Sinaida Aura’s try at the death was not enough to spare the national women’s sevens team from a 5-7 loss to Belgium in their second Pool B clash at the So Kon Po Recreation Ground in Hong Kong.

The Lionesses were caught napping early on, conceding a converted try and trailed 0-7 at the break.

They would absorb incessant pressure, taking all that Belgium threw at them in a great defensive effort before getting their breakthrough.

Doreen Remour would miss the conversion, leaving the Lionesses with a must win clash against Argentina at 11.46am

Kenya 24 Hong Kong 21

Sinaida Aura’s hat trick spurred the Lionesses to a 24-21 win over hosts Hong Kong in Pool B action at the HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series qualifiers in Hong Kong on Thursday morning.

The Lionesses found themselves in a spot of bother, unable to cope with Hong Kong’s early pressure and conceded two converted tries.

To be fair to the Lionesses,they hardly saw any possession and it took Aura’s burst of speed from inside the 22 to leave her defenders for dead and land an unconverted try to cut the deficit to 5-14 at the break.

With the Lionesses seeing more possession after the restart, Aura would land her brace,Janet Owino with the conversion for a 12-14 score but Hong Kong soon capitalized on lax defending to add a third converted try,the score reading 12-21.

Celestine Masinde would craft a try scoring opportunity out of nothing, parting the hosts defense wide open, stretching her marker wide before scoring under the posts,Owino sure with the twos.

Aura would win it for the Lionesses, scoring at the corner to secure the result.

Kenya

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Kenya Gets Chan Lifeline as CAF Extends Deadline

By David Kwalimwa

The Confederation of African Football on Friday told Kenya to complete preparations for the 2018 Africa Nations Championships or lose the hosting rights.

Speaking during a press briefing on Friday, Caf Vice President Suketu Patel said the country has until November to complete the preparations for the tournament.

“Caf doesn’t like giving tournaments to countries and then taking them away. Kenya has until three months to the tournament to have everything in place. We are not here to police but help in preparations,” Patel said.

Patel is in the country alongside a Caf inspection team that has toured all venues earmarked to host the three-week competition.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario said the government has set aside Sh2.7billion for the event.

“The monies will be released in phases,” said Wario.

Kipchoge Keino (Eldoret), Kinoru (Meru), Nyayo (Nairobi), Moi International Sports Centre (Nairobi) are some of the stadiums which are expected to host the tournament.

Kenya

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Kirehe, RRA Win Kayumba V-Ball Memorial Tourney

By Peter Kamasa

Kirehe and Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) are winners of the 2017 Father Emmanuel Kayumba volleyball memorial tournament in the men and women categories, respectively. The tournament was held over the weekend in Huye district.

Kirehe thrashed debutants University of Tourism Technology and Business Studies (UTB) in three straight sets 3-0 (25-22, 25-21 and 25-20) to dethrone IPRC-South that won last year’s edition, while RRA retained the title after defeating Ruhango Volleyball Club also in three straight sets (25-21, 25-18 and 25-15).

Kirehe reached the final after beating league giants APR 3-2 (25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 15-25 and 19-17) in the semi-finals while UTB defeated Rwanda Energy Group (REG) 3-2 (29-31, 25-15, 25-12, 25-23 and 18-16).

Meanwhile, in the women category, RRA reached the final after defeating youth-side IPRC-Kigali 3-1 (25-13, 25-9, 22-25 and 25-8) while Ruhango overcame APR 2-3 (24-26, 25-13, 25-21, 22-25 and 9-15) to advance.

The winners in both categories walked away with trophies and a cash prize of Rwf200,000 each.

The tournament is organised in memory of the late Father Kayumba, who passed away in 2009. He was instrumental in the growth of volleyball in Groupe Scolaire de Butare, a school that has over the years produced some of Rwanda’s best players in the sport.

Sunday

Finals

Men

UTB 0-3 Kirehe

Women

RRA 3-0 Ruhango

Rwanda

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What the Uganda Cranes Story Tells Us About Our Country and Ourselves

columnBy Daniel K. Kalinaki

Now that the dust has settled on the African Cup of Nations what does the performance of our national team tell us about ourselves? How many of you, dear readers, think that qualifying for the competition after 38 years away was a massive achievement regardless of the results?

And how many of you feel that being knocked out in the group stages with only one goal and one point was just not good enough and should trigger deep introspection?

These are rhetorical questions and, having only a handful of loyal readers, this column can’t expect to generate a statistically significant sample, but my suspicion is that many people are happy to have seen our boys kick about on television and are pretty content – and that is a problem.

Over the years, we have become accustomed to mediocrity, to settling for what we can get, rather than we want or deserve. Take, for example, the opening up of borders in the East African Community, few would argue against the obvious advantages of the free flow of goods, capital and labour – but where are the Ugandan brands opening up shop across the region? What do we have to offer to our neighbours beyond cheap food? Where is the plan to convert our military sacrifices into sustainable economic gains in South Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere?

The story of the Cranes is instructive.

A few months earlier the team was the toast of the town after qualification but did we realistically go to Gabon to participate or to contest in the tournament?

Some will argue that after four decades away just getting to the tournament is an achievement. The more important question to ask is what have we been doing in those 38 years to ensure that when we eventually qualify we have a team that is good enough to contest for the trophy, and a conveyor belt of talent to ensure that we do not return to the wilderness?

The answer is very little, I’m afraid. Success in sports comes from strategic investments in talent, training, tactics and facilities. The hardest ingredient here is talent which you either have or don’t, and which some countries outsource by offering citizenship to foreigners.

It is also the least of our worries. At Afcon 1978 we reached the finals and many footballers we have produced over the years – think Philip Omondi, Godfrey Katerega, Jackson Mayanja, Majid Musisi among others – were simply world-class. I have seen young footballers from Naguru with feet so gifted they can use them to open padlocks, let alone defences.

It is in the other areas that we come woefully short. Our youth and up country leagues have virtually collapsed. Sports fields have been sold off – in Lugogo one is a used car sales lot, another a mall parking lot with another, just up the road, turned over to a Chinese hotel.

Are we surprised that a country that was once a sporting powerhouse now struggles to put together an Olympics boxing team or celebrates qualifying for a tournament it previously played in the finals for?

There was a time when countries could get away with this mediocrity but not any more. The world has quickly been divided into participants and contestants in almost everything, from which countries send the most players to the top leagues, to those whose companies are able to spread out and dominate regional and global economic value chains.

The biggest ideological challenge facing young Ugandans today is whether they want to be participants like their mediocre parents, or contestants who will then have to confront and overturn the social, economic and political order of the day.

We could have beaten Ghana, as we have done before, and held Egypt to a draw, qualified for the group stages and maybe even more. But this would have been by sheer luck and grit on the field (‘football is football; anything can happen’, some say) rather than as the outcome of a well-thought out plan.

We went to Gabon hoping for success rather than expecting it. Now, while one can succeed by doing the wrong thing, and even fail while doing the right thing, one can only be successful consistently if that success is the outcome of the right plan executed well.

Young Ugandans today must reimagine themselves in a world their parents don’t even know exists – then shun the mediocrity of mere participation. Enough with these certificates of attendance; you must go forth into the world and win some trophies!

Mr Kalinaki is a Ugandan journalist based in Nairobi.

Luwagga Departing Gabon With Diminished Reputation

By Mark Namanya

Oyem — Football has traditionally been in love with players who are easy on the eye; the ones who take the team forward with a deft flick, a 360-spin in the final third or possess the nerve and ingenuity to run through a maze of opponents to score.

Uganda doesn’t not possess exceptional talent in the playmaking department but the closest thing to a matchmaker in the Cranes camp was Portugal-based Kizito Luwagga.

With Muzamir Mutyaba overlooked by coach Micho Sredojevic in the final 23-man list, the Rio Ave midfielder was given the responsibility of shouldering Uganda’s creative hub on the country’s first return to continental football in four decades.

Unfortunately Luwagga left no impression in Gabon. In fact he leaves the tournament have diminished his standing in Cranes colours after struggling on the field and becoming a polarizing figure behind the scenes.

Such was Micho’s confidence in him that he is named the former Vipers player in the opening line-up against Ghana. Other than the delicious ball he had Farouq Miya, which was smashed on the woodwork by the latter, Luwagga was guilty of carelessly giving away possession and not pulling his weight behind the team.

Inside the first quarter of the Ghana match, Luwagga ceded possession on not less than five occassions and looked overseas by the stage.

When he was substituted on the hour, he leisurely trudged off the pitch much to the chagrin of the technical bench who were unimpressed at how a player of his level couldn’t comprehend that Uganda needed every second on the clock with Ghana in the lead.

He was duly dropped in the must-win match against Egypt, a decision that surprised few, but reinstated for the dead-rubber against Mali. It could be argued that the soggy field at Stade D’Oyem denied him a chance in the first half when he was clean on goal but there are no excuses for his failure to set-up a better-placed Joseph Ochaya in the second half who had a good view at Mali goal.

When he was substituted, he showed his displeasure by ignoring coach on the bench. It was an act of petulance that summed up the frustration of a player whose contribution at Afcon 2017 will be remembered as if he didn’t travel at all.

And although he struck a key goal in the qualifiers away in Botswana, Luwagga’s form in national team colours has been topsy-curvy.

Sources inside the team indicate that Luwagga’s off-field demeanor left a lot to be desired with a series of mannerisms that didn’t endear him to the group.

Uganda

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Glo-CAF Award Winners Fail to Inspire Their Teams

Photo: CAF

Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez as African Player of the Year 2016 and Ugandan goalie, Denis Onyango as African Player of the Year – Based in Africa 2016.

By Mark Namanya

Oyem — Every major soccer tournament has a feature compiled on the ‘stars to watch’ ahead of kick-off. The buzz and hype of players with big reputations is synonymous with the Africa Cup of Nations.

In the case of Gabon 2017, the obvious choices were Glo-Caf Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez (Algeria), the runner-up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon) and Africa-based Player of the Year Denis Onyango (Uganda) and the second choice in his category Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe).

The three aforementioned names enjoyed a magnificent 2016 and were naturally expected to draw attention at the 31st edition of Africa’s most prestigious soccer competition.

But by Monday night, all three had exited the competition at the first hurdle. Once Uganda conclude the final group game against Mali at Stade Oyem tonight, Cranes will join Algeria, Gabon and Zimbabwe in following the remainder of the tournament on television.

Perhaps the most disappointed star is Aubameyang. The Borussia Dortmund striker shouldered the weight of 1.8 million Gabonese, who were hoping to reach the latter stages of the competition with their country as hosts

Aubameyang himself didn’t disappoint with two goals in three matches but he missed a crucial chance against Cameroon in the all-important match that decided the fate of the Panthers.

Gabon were ultimately knocked out despite suffering no defeat at the tournament.

The French-born forward was joined by Mahrez in the exit lounge. Like Aubameyang, Mahrez tallied two goals in three matches but couldn’t inspire the Desert Foxes to the quarter finals. The 1990 champions were a shadow of their huge billing; a far cry from their height of 2014 when they stretched eventual Fufa World Cup champions Germany in the second round.

Uganda’s Denis Onyango couldn’t be faulted for any of the two goals his country conceded in defeats to Ghana and Egypt. He was sent the wrong way but Andre Ayew of Ghana and beaten from close range with a thunderous Abdallah El-Said strike in the Egypt encounter.

He still showcased in world-class reflex abilities with a stunning save from a Christian Atsu shot in Uganda’s opening group game.

Zimbabwe’s Billiat was poetry in motion in the South African Premier Soccer League and Caf Champions League last season and was viewed by observers as the man likeliest to engineer his team’s cinderella run in Gabon. He started the tournament brightly against Algeria in a match where the upright denied him the goal of the tournament. But Zimbabwe bowed out with Billiat failing to find the net for the Southern African country.

The Glo-Caf National Team of the Year Uganda Cranes were meanwhile the first team to be knocked out. Their gutsy effort and commitment on the field was let down a chronic lack of quality in the final third of the field.

Africa

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