President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has this afternoon officially flagged off Team Uganda to the Tokyo Olympic games.
The games that were meant to take place last year were postponed because of the challenges caused by the coronavirus. The games will now take place from July 23rd to August 8th.
At the function held at the Kololo Independence grounds, Museveni who was accompanied by Janet Kataaha Museveni, the First Lady and Minister for Education flagged off a team of 25 athletes that will represent Uganda in the 32nd edition of the summer games.
In his remarks, the President congratulated the athletes for qualifying for the games, he said qualifying alone is a milestone because the games also have a standard entrance that they have to work to beat.
Museveni also called upon the athletes to be disciplined while in Japan. He urged them to protect themselves from the virus and never to interact with the general public. He noted that he was unhappy with the incidents that happened to the first batch of the Olympians that registered some positive COVID-19 cases.
Janet Kataaha Museveni, Minister of Sports and Education thanked President Museveni for sparing time to flag off the team. She also thanked the government of Japan for supporting Uganda’s athletes in their preparations ahead of the games.
The State Minister for Sports Hamsom Obua made it clear that all athletes who are part of Uganda’s contingent are already vaccinated and they were training in a bubble camp that is based in Kapchorwa to protect them from COVID-19. Uganda will have athletes participate in track and field events, rowing, swimming, boxing and weightlifting.
For the Paralympic gamesm, Uganda has qualified 8 athletes in para athletics, para badminton, para swimming and 1 para power lighting and one from para shooting.
Team Uganda for men will be captained by 2012 London Olympics gold medalist Steven Kiprotich, while middle distance runner Halima Nakaayi captains the women.