Uganda made their medal intentions known with an outstanding and creative entrance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics opening Ceremony on Friday.
The team, dressed in red and gold, made a pause before launching haka-like movements, stamping their feet down with energy and flexing arms out like Gorillas.
They then bounced off under a song from famous Japanese video games.
Only Argentina and Portugal came close to beating that entrance which was built on creativity that portrayed the culture, entertainment and energy of the people from the Pearl of Africa.
With the whole world watching, it was a good advert for the country whose build up to the games has been littered with positive Covid19 cases and disappearance of weightlifter Julius Ssekitoleko. Not to mention the political and financial struggles back home.
Greece came out first thanks for their part in initiating the games and were followed by a refugee team while the rest of the teams were introduced in the order of the Japanese alphabet.
Notably, two athletes from each country held their nation’s flag during the Parade of Nations in a bid to promote gender equality at the games.
For Uganda, the honour went to Sharon Kirabo (Swimmer) and Shadir Musa (Boxer).
Only six of 25 athletes were present during the entrance – the two flag bearers (mentioned above), boxers Catherine Nanziri and David Ssemujju, Swimmer Atuhaire Ampala and Rower Kathleen Noble.
Noble was in action on Friday morning but didn’t qualify directly for the single sculls quarter-finals and will try her luck through the repechage, the first rower to represent Uganda.
Let the games begin.
Team Uganda at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
Esther Chebet (5000m), Sarah Chelangat (5000m), Albert Chemutai (3000m SC), Prisca Chesang (5000m), Ronald Musagala (1500m), Shida Leni (400m), Winnie Nanyondo (1500m), Halima Nakaayi (800m), Joshua Cheptegei (5000m, 10000m), Jacob Kiplimo (5000m, 10000), Oscar Chelimo (5000m), Stephen Kissa (10000m), Peruth Chemutai (3000m SC), Mercyline Chelangat (10000m), Immaculate Chemutai (Marathon), Juliet Chekwel (Marathon) Stephen Kiprotich (Marathon), Filex Chemongesi (Marathon), Fred Musobo (Marathon)
*Boxing – Catherine Nanziri (flyweight), Musa Shadir Bwogi (Welterweight), David Kavuma Ssemujju (middlweight)
*Rowing – Grace Kathleen Noble (Women’s single scull)
*Swimming – Kirabo Namutebi (50m freestyle), Ambala Atuhaire (100m freestyle)
Adrianus Ruiter (Coach, Athletics – Tokyo), Faustino Kiwa (Coach, Athletics – Sapporo), Gordon Ahimbisibwe (Coach, Athletics – Sapporo), Domenic Otucet (Official – Athletics, Tokyo), Margaret Ijala (Coach – Athletics, Tokyo), Narisesio Bigingo (Coach – Athletics, Tokyo), Benjamin Njia (Coach – Athletics, Tokyo), Andrew Sorowen (Official – Athletics, Tokyo), Patrick Lihenda (Coach, Boxing), Hassan Mohammed Mulandi (Coach, Boxing), Rodrick Muhumuza (Coach, Rowing), Ahsan Iqbal (Coach, Rowing), Muzafaru Muwanguzi (Coach, Swimming), Dunstan Nsubuga (NOC), Sadik Nasiwu (NOC), Salim Ssenkungu Musoke (ITO, Weightlifting), Aciga Fula (ITO, Boxing)
Denis Hamson Obua (head of delegation), William Blick (IOC Member), Dr Donald Rukare (President NOC), Beatrice Ayikoru (Chef De Mission), Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel (General Team manager), Dr Jacqueline Nana Nakiddu (Team doctor), Prossy Namusisi (Physiotherapist), Tom Oomen (Physiotherapist), Shadiah Nakamanya (Chaperone), Aisha Nassanga (Media Liaison), Elijah Njawuzi (Team Admin), Ivan Mugowa (Team Admin), Moses Mwase (NOC), Ganzi Mugula (Athletes Representative)
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