Tokyo, Japan | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s rower Kathleen Grace Noble’s chance for any medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games has come to an end after the athlete fell short in the Repechage contest of the Women’s single sculls race Saturday.
She has nevertheless Sunday morning qualified for the category E finals, after finishing second in her semifinal E/F race on Sunday. These semifinals determined the ultimate rankings for rowers who are out of the medal contention.
Qatar’s Abujbara Tala (8:24.24) won Sunday’s race, with Noble (8:31.67) second and Nigeria’s Toko came third with Sudanese Khogali Esraa last in the semifinal E/F. The top three move to the Category E final, while Esraa goes to the Category F finals.
On Saturday, Noble finished a distant 3rd in Heat Three of the Repechage which buried her chances of qualifying for quarter finals. She posted 8:36:1 behind Venega Cancio Milena who won the cruise and Hung Wing Yan Winne who came second. The time was fifteen seconds below her personal best of 8:21.85 which she posted in the opening race.
“I recorded a lower time but every race comes with its own demands and expectations, I am happy to continue exploiting the opportunity and I look forward to the E/F Semifinals tomorrow,” Kathleen said after the race.
The US-based Ugandan athlete was making a second attempt through the Repechage round which offers rowers a second chance to qualify for the quarterfinals with rowers who had good times in each heat where they parade to compete for their last chances.
She had initially been placed fifth in heat 2 of the women single sculls on Friday morning, where she fell to rowing stars from Northern Ireland and Mexico respectively.
Here she posted 8:21.85 in the 2000m rowing race which put her in the fifth position in a heat won by world champion Sanita Pupsure from Ireland who posted 7:46:08.
According to the games format, she was supposed to go to Repechage round where she was supposed to tussle out in a second attempt to compete for the remaining quarter final slots but she never made it. The first two rowers took the slots.
Noble 26, holds Uganda’s record which stands at 8:21.85 she posted in her first competition.
Noble’s qualification and participation still remains historical as she is the first ever rower to represent Uganda in the Olympic games, therefore her best time she posted remains Uganda’s first-ever rowing mark in the Olympic games.