2005: A Year of Upsets and Revolutions
A wrap up of Ugandan sports events in 2005.
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First published: December 31, 2005
Its just a few hours to round up 2005, a year, which has witnessed up sets and gradual changes in almost every sports discipline.
In January 2005, the Minister of Education and Sports disbanded Denis Obuas FUFA governance citing mismanagement.
In April, from the Limbo, Villa traveled to Mwanza and lifted the CECAFA club Title with all odds against them.
Police F.C in November marked the end of Villas league dominance by lifting the national Soccer league.
In motor rallying, Lwakataka saw his dreams coming true when he dethroned Ryaz Kutji while Nkumba marines won its first silver ware in Basket ball.
Inzikuru years delight
The biggest event of year was in athletics when Ugandan queen Dorkus Inzikuru won a gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase event in the world games held in Helsinki- Finland to become the first ever Ugandan lady to win a gold medal.
Uganda had last won a gold medal in 1972 Courtesy of a late John Akii Bua in the 4000m huddles in Munich Germany, 9 years before Inzikuru was born.
The Arua born speed merchant, wrapped up her incredible season with another gold medal in the world athletics championship held in Monaco France.
No wonder her magnificent performances saw her being named among the five nominees for the international athletics federation award of the year.
Boniface Kiprop, is another athlete worth recognition. Despite his failure to win a medal in the world games, his profile in a 1000m continued to rise.
After finishing fourth in the world games, he turned his wrath in the word athletics championship and won a silver medal behind world gold medallist Kenenesa Bekele of Ethiopia.
Busenei Wilson Kipkimei is the another athletics personality who hit headlines in the 2005 season. The Ndejje University student, after being denied a chance to qualify for the world athletic championship finals, in the 5000m, turned his guns to Izmir-Turkey where he swept three gold medals in the 5000m, 1000m and a half- marathon in the world University games. Congratulations indeed!
Upsets in athletics continued to flow as 15 year old Jackline Cheruto from power house Arua, announced her arrival on the scene, when she won the national 5000m race after beating favorite Lillian Badaru by some distance.
No wonder she was voted by the Uganda Amature Athletics Federation, the most up coming talent together with Jimmy Adaar, another new kid on block.
In all, Dorkus Inzikuru remains my athlete of the year.
The number one sport witnessed upsets and revolutions perhaps on a positive note. Among the notable ones, the minister of Education and Sports Hon Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire forcefully ousted Denis Obua from the FUFA offices in the campaign to clean the rotten game of football in the country
A normalization committee headed by Dr. Sekajugo was set up to take over and handed over the office to the new FUFA boss Mulindwa Lawrence mid December 2005.
In April, a few weeks after being hammered 6-0 in Cairo by Alahal in the M.T.N African champions league and facerd with absolute poverty, SC Villa traveled to Mwanza-Tanzania for the CECAFA club Championship and defied all odds against them to win the title after white washing Rwandas celebrated APR FC 3-0 in the finals, thanks to hit man Benald Mwalalas brace and Robert Sentongos first half strike.
This was despite the fact that the Joogos had traveled without their star players Joseph Kabagambe and matchmaker Augustine Nsumba who absconded to Kigali at the 11th hour. The Nsambya Based Side from setting record as they wrapped up the tournaments with out conceding any goal.
Prior to the tournament, the Ugandan record champions were as poor as a church mouse but returned to Kampala with pockets smiling as they bagged 54 million shillings from the tournaments chief sponsor Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
The government offered them a special jet to fly them back, accorded them a red carpet honor as heroes. A few days later, Ugandan President Yoweri Museven hosted them at his home of Nakasero where he later handed them a 36-seater bus.
But there was a day that SC Villa had to prove their real soccer credentials. It was on the 14th of November, 2005, a day both anti and S.C. Villa fans will never get out of their minds when minors Police F.C. picked hand cuffs, stood firm and did what the giant 2 clubs Express FC and KCC had failed, when they arrested Villa from the league championship. Villa had dominated the league since 1998.
The deadly MU-MA partnership of sergeants Muwanga Martin and Massa Godfrey together with the link men Sula Lwanga, Dan Mubiru, and Naniki Muzamir were the key architect of the cops resurgence campaigns.
The other new discovery talents in the season included Express left footed talent Nickolas Kabali, KCCs Anthony Bongole and SC Villas new kids on block Steveen Nsereko, Ronald Muganga, Oscar Ogaba and Custodian Denis Onyango who only picked a ball once from his net through out the league.
I pick Massa as the footballer of the year. He closely edges out SC Vllas Onyango probably due to his defection to Ethiopia.
However, the tragic death of soccer legend Magid Musisi and soccer Administrator Kevin Aliro brought many tears to soccer lovers.
In basketball, it was the Entebbe Based Nkumba marines that stole the show by sealing off Falcons dominance on the local scene by clinching the M.T.N basket ball classic yello go league title for the first time in the clubs history.
The national mens team also deserve the mention for winning the East and Central African basket ball championship after humbling Perennial nemesis Kenya at Wandegeya courts.
Despite the excellent exhibition of skills from Norman Blick and Falcons towering Sam Abol, Ken Balyejusa of Sadolin powers are my basketball of the year.
Ponsiano Lwakataka rose from boys to men when he ended the dominance of the likes of Riyaz Kurji, Moses Lumala and company to win the title for the first time.
The vocal driver, performed beyond his expectation in his locally build Subaru Impreza when he posted some wins. The most memorable ones included a triumph in the Castrol Mogas Rally and when he finished 2nd in the Pearl of Africa Rally championship.
No wonder the Kyotera based driver was over whelmed by the victory and converted from paganism to become Born again Christian as evidence when he attributed his victory to the power of God.
The blow to the sport however arose when the fish tycoon Riyaz Kurji changed his citizenship to Kenya complaining low levels of competition in Uganda.
Lwakataka im my driver of the year. He beats Riyaz Kurji who I give the 2nd spot.
As the senior national team was struggling, their under 19 juniors were firing from all cylinders.
For the first time, the team will be at the world summit where their seniors failed to reach owing to disastrous performances in the just concluded 2007 world cup qualifiers in Ireland.
On the local scene, there were no eminent shift in power as Tanaldo lifted the Castle larger title for the 3rd time.
There was nothing much in the armature ranks as professionals in the likes of Mr. Crush Badiru Lusambya, Abdu Cobra Tebazalwa dominated the show but the biggest applause goes to the British based Pugilist Jackson Asiiku.
The stylish fighter captured 2 titles in a space of 6 months when he floured Zambian Soulas Kaunda at Nakivubo stadium to win the African boxing union title before he knocked out a Briton, Mark Callaghan to win the common wealth boxing council belt
The year also experienced a shock when a Russian Roman Kamazin ended Mr. Un-touchable Kassim Ouma- the dream. His dream to retain the international boxing middleweight title was ruined.
But Ouma was consoled when he was sighted by Oscar Dalahoya Golden Promotions, meaning the US based Ugandan stands a chance to get big fights and reclaim his title.
Jackson Asiiku is my Pugilist of the year.
Hope our sports continue to improve in 2006.
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First published: December 31, 2005
Ramathan Kasozi is a member of Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd. . A graduate Journalist, Kasozi has more than 5 years experience reporting on sports in Uganda for different print and broadcast media houses.