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Uganda under-20 team secures silver medal at African Games

Accra, Ghana | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda National Under-20 team, the Hippos, narrowly missed clinching a gold medal at the ongoing 13th edition of the African Games in Accra, Ghana. Despite delivering a commendable performance on Friday night at the Accra Sports Stadium, the Hippos succumbed to hosts Ghana with a score of 1-0 in the final, securing the silver medal.

Jerry Afiriye’s late strike for the young Black Stars dashed the hopes of the spirited Ugandan team and brought joy to thousands of fans who flooded the stadium to support the home team. Throughout the match, the Uganda Hippos created several scoring opportunities in both halves, yet players like Bruno Bunyaga, Abasi Kyeyune, and Usama Arafat Kizza were unable to convert.

Nevertheless, this achievement represents Uganda’s highest-ever finish in the African Games.  This marked the second occasion in three years that the Uganda Hippos failed to overcome Ghana in a continental final game. Despite their high ranking, the Hippos also faced defeat against Ghana in the 2021 U-20 African Cup of Nations Final in Mauritania.

However, the Hippos’ performance surpassed that of their counterparts, the U20 Uganda women’s team, the Queen Cranes, who only managed a bronze medal after defeating Senegal in the match determining the third position. The Queen Cranes had previously lost to Nigeria in the semi-final.   With the Hippos’ silver medal, Uganda’s overall medal tally in the competition reaches 18, comprising 4 gold medals, 6 silver medals, and 8 bronze medals.

In team sports, Uganda has clinched three gold medals, with two from both the men’s and rugby teams, along with a gold in badminton women’s doubles. Additionally, the team has one silver and one bronze in team sports, courtesy of Uganda Hippos and Queen Cranes, respectively.   In athletics, Uganda has earned two silver medals and one bronze.

Olympic gold medalist Peruth Chemutai claimed a silver medal in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase, complementing Halima Nakaayi’s earlier silver in the 800 meters and Joyce Lalam’s bronze in the women’s javelin.   In boxing, Uganda has bagged three bronze medals, thanks to Kassim Murungi in the featherweight category, Innocent Tumusiime in minimum weight, and Muzamir Semuddu in light middleweight.

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