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D-Day: Key Ugandan facts ahead of Rio opening ceremony

Joshua Cheptegei wins at the World Juniors. PHOTO CREDIT Erik van Leeuwen
Joshua Cheptegei wins at the World Juniors in 2014. He is one of Uganda’s main medal hopes.
PHOTO CREDIT Erik van Leeuwen

The world’s focus turns to Brazil from Friday 23.00GMT (Saturday 02.00am Uganda) when the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics starts.

Even though the nations will be read out in Portuguese alphabetical order, Uganda will still be among the last nations to enter the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro – in 200th place out of 209.

The event will combine a formal ceremonial opening, including welcoming speeches, hoisting of the flags and the parade of athletes and an artistic spectacle to showcase the host nation’s culture.

Under the games’ protocol, Greece always marches first while  the host country always goes last. For the rest, the parade follows alphabetical order in the local tongue—in the case of the Rio games, Portuguese. South Africa (“Africa do Sul”) moves up to the front while Uganda moves into an even later position.

Swimmer  Joshua Ekirikubinza Uganda’s flag bearer
Uganda will have a lean team at the opening ceremony, as the bulk of the team, the track and field team are still in Uganda. The second batch of 14 leave on Sunday, while the marathoners including Olympic gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich leave a week later.


First Ugandan in action
First in action for team Uganda will be light heavyweight boxer Kennedy Katende who climbs into the ring on Sunday August 7 (7pm Uganda time) against Joshua Buatasi of Great Britain. He will be followed 40 minutes later by swimmer Jamila Lunkuse who dives into the pool for the 100m breaststroke Heat 2 on Sunday August 7.



Uganda’s schedule in Rio

Opening ceremony
Friday, August 5 2016 (Saturday 2.00am Uganda time)

Uganda’s flag bearer
Swimmer – Joshua Ekirikubinza

Uganda’s Boxing schedule

Kennedy Katende Men’s light vs Britain’s Joshua Buatazi  heavyweight August 7
Ronald Serugo Men’s flyweight vs Narek Abgaryan of Armenia August 13

Uganda’s Swimming schedule
Sunday August 7
Jamila Lunkuse 100m breaststroke

Thursday August 11
Joshua Ekirikubinza Men’s 50 m freestyle

Uganda’s Athletics schedule
Friday August 12 Day 7
Women’s 10000m women final

Saturday August 13 Day 8
Women’s 3000m Steeplechase round 1
10000m men final

Sunday August 14 Day 9
Women’s marathon

Monday August 15 Day 10
Men’s 3000m steeplechase round 1
Women 3000m steeplecahse final

Tuesday August 16 Day 11
Women’s 5000m round 1
Men’s 1500m round 1

Wed August 17 Day Day 12
Men’s 5000m round 1
women’s 800m round 1
Men’s steeplecahse final

Thursday August 18 Day 13
Men’s 1500m semifinal
Men’s 800m semifinal

Friday August 19 Day 14
women’s 5000m final

Saturday August 20 Day 15
Men’s 1500m final
Women’s 800m final
Men’s 5000m final

Sunday August 21 Day 16
Men’s Marathon final


Uganda’s team of 21
Uganda’s team to Rio comprises 17 track and field athletes, two swimmers and two boxers.  Swimmers are Jamila Lunkuse 100m breaststroke, Joshua Ekirikubinza Men’s 50 m freestyle and boxers Kennedy Katende light heavyweight, Ronald Serugo flyweight.
Athletics has Juliet Chekwel 5000m/10000m; Stella Chesang 5000m; Peruth Chemutai 3000m steeplechase;  Halimah Nakaayi, Winnie Nanyondo 800m; Adero Nyakisi marathon; Jacob Araptany and Benjamin Kiplagat 3000 m steeplechase; Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei 5000m/ 10000 m; Phillip Kipyego and Jacob Kiplimo 5000m; Jackson Kiprop, Stephen Kiprotich,  Solomon Mutai Marathon;  Ronald Musagala 1500m; Moses Kurong and Timothy Toroitich 10000m
Uganda’s best bet for medals
Cheptegei – Uganda’s former World and African junior 10000m champion Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei will have two chances to win his first senior medal.Cheptegei together with Juliet Chekwel, are the only Ugandan athletes doing a double and have been blessed by a  well spaced schedule. The 10000 metres finals are among the first events at Rio – with the 5000m starting four days later.
Nineteen-year-old Cheptegei, has one of the fastest times in the world this year in the 5000m of 13:00.60 .
Kiprotich – He travels to Rio as defending champion and although he does not hold one of the fastest times in the past year, he is in exactly a similar position he was before London.
Kiprotich ended Uganda’s  40-year wait for an Olympic gold medal when he stunned Kenyans Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang to win the Marathon in London. Kiprotich became only the second Ugandan to win an Olympic gold medal after John Akii-Bua in Munich 1972.


Uganda’s history at the game


Games Gold Silver Bronze Total
Australia 1956 Melbourne 0 0 0 0
Italy 1960 Rome 0 0 0 0
Japan 1964 Tokyo 0 0 0 0
Mexico 1968 Mexico City 0 1 1 2
West Germany 1972 Munich 1 1 0 2
Canada 1976 Montreal did not participate
Soviet Union 1980 Moscow 0 1 0 1
United States 1984 Los Angeles 0 0 0 0
South Korea 1988 Seoul 0 0 0 0
Spain 1992 Barcelona 0 0 0 0
United States 1996 Atlanta 0 0 1 1
Australia 2000 Sydney 0 0 0 0
Greece 2004 Athens 0 0 0 0
China 2008 Beijing 0 0 0 0
United Kingdom 2012 London 1 0 0 1
Total 2 3 2 7

Medals by sport

Sport Gold Silver Bronze Total
Athletics 2 0 1 3
Boxing 0 3 1 4
Total 2 3 2 7

List of medalists

Medal Name Games Sport Event
 Silver Eridadi Mukwanga Mexico 1968 Mexico City Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing Men’s bantamweight
 Bronze Leo Rwabwogo Mexico 1968 Mexico City Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing Men’s flyweight
 Gold John Akii-Bua West Germany 1972 Munich Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics Men’s 400 metre hurdles
 Silver Leo Rwabwogo West Germany 1972 Munich Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing Men’s flyweight
 Silver John Mugabi Soviet Union 1980 Moscow Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing Men’s welterweight
 Bronze Davis Kamoga United States 1996 Atlanta Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics Men’s 400 metres
 Gold Stephen Kiprotich United Kingdom 2012 London Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics Men’s marathon


What others are up to:

China’s policeman

China has sent a policeman to the Rio Olympics to help protect its sporting delegation, media and travelling spectators, state-media said Thursday, after a Chinese hurdler said he had been robbed.

The policeman named Shao Weimin, whose official title is temporary police communication officer, arrived in Rio two months ago to prepare for his role, the Beijing News reported.

No Pele show

Brazil football legend Pele said poor health will prevent him from lighting the Olympic cauldron at the Games’ opening ceremony on Friday as he had hoped to do.

“Dear friends, only God is more important than my health!” the 75-year-old said in a statement published by Brazilian media.


Thousands of Brazilians launched angry anti-Olympics protests hours before Friday’s Rio Games opening ceremony in fury at political scandals rattling the host country and the billions spent on the event.

Waving signs reading “No to the Olympics!”, a crowd of about 3,000 blocked an avenue outside the luxury Copacabana Palace Hotel where many Olympic athletes are staying.

Moroccan boxer held

Brazilian police arrested a Moroccan Olympic boxer on Friday for allegedly sexually assaulting two female cleaners in the athletes’ village in Rio de Janeiro.

Officers arrested Hassan Saada, 22, from Casablanca, on suspicion of committing the assault on Wednesday, said a police statement released hours ahead of the Games’ opening ceremony.


US agents all eyes

They stand discreetly in the shadows, eyes keenly on the look-out, as women’s world number one tennis star Serena Williams perfects her blistering forehand at the Rio Olympics.

Their presence is low key, but the United States has a team of Diplomatic Security (DS) personnel in Brazil serving in support roles with under-the-cosh local forces.

Security has been a major talking point at the Games, which officially open on Friday, with athletes, officials, fans and media from numerous countries reporting they have been victims of crime.


Opening ceremony

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