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Uganda’s Emong wins historic World Para Athletics gold

Emong (left) won the sprint finish to win gold Saturday night in London.

LondonUnited Kingdom | THE INDEPENDENT |  David Emong has done it again. Uganda’s Paralympic silver medallist put Uganda on the mark at the World Para Athletics Championships in London by winning the country’s first ever gold on Saturday night.

Emong did it in style, running 3:58.36in the 1,5oom T46 event to beat  defending champion Samir Nouioua (3:58.78) of Algeria in a terrific sprint finish on day two of the ongoing London World Para Athletics Championships. It was sweet revenge as Nouioua had beaten Emong for gold last year the the Rio Paralympics.

“I was expecting to win because I have been training at altitude with Uganda’s champions Moses Kipsiro and Stephen Kiprotich. Last year I wasn’t ready to win. I lacked behind at the end, but this time I was ready and in the last 100m I knew it was mine,” said Emong.

Emong is one of only two athletes entered to compet at London 2017. The other entrant was Christine Akullo in the T13, F13 100 and 400m.

Emony, 26, has just been named Uganda’s athlete of the year  by the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) after his historic medal exploits at the Paralympic Games in Rio where he won the country’s first ever medal. He was a runner-up for the Uganda sportsman of the year title that was awarded to footballer Denis Onyango.

While at school in 2005, he broke his left arm after he was beaten up by other students. He did not receive medical treatment for the injury, which resulted in limited use of the limb.

Emong won silver in Rio last year. Paralympic Games are a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities, and are held soon after the Summer Olympics.

The Para Athletics Championships on the other hand are held prior to the World Championships that are due at the same venue, London next month.

The World Para Athletics Championships will run through to 23 July. More than 1,150 athletes from 90 countries are competing in 202 medal events.





Who are para-athletes?

The Para-Athletics events are competitions for the physically impaired. The T46 event that Emong features in are for athletes with upper limb or limbs that are affected by limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement.

To be eligible for para-athletics, a person must have an eligible impairment type and the impairment must be judged to be severe enough to have an impact on the sport of athletics.

In general athletes with impairments that have a similar impact on sport performance will compete in the same sport class.

The system ensures that athletes do not succeed simply because they have an impairment that causes less of a disadvantage than their competitors, but because of their skill, determination, tactics, fitness and preparation.



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