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Ugandan team to leave for Beijing Olympics, promises medals
10:09, July 25, 2008

All is set for the Ugandan athletes to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games with the team promising to bring home medals.

The delegation including 12 athletes and seven officials was briefed here on Thursday of the dos and don'ts of the Games before the first batch departs for Beijing, China on Sunday.

Francis Nyangweso, President of the Uganda Olympic Committee said that the team is ready for the Games after going through local and international drills for the last four years.

"These are the best athletes we have for the Games. What ever they will do, they will compete," he said, urging the team to bring home medals like its predecessor in 1996, 1972 and 1968.

He also assured the team of hospitality by the hosting Chinese people.

"We are going with pride, with confidence that we are going to have warm hospitality from the Chinese people. I want to assure my team that we are going to be amongst friends," said Nyangweso.

The team will be traveling in two batches with the first departing on Sunday, including weightlifter Mubarak Kivumbi, boxer Ronald Serugo, swimmers Aya Nakitanda and Gilbert Kaburu and other team officials.

Uganda's badminton ace Edwin Ekiring will fly directly to Beijing from Germany where he has been attending an Olympic Solidarity training camp.

The last batch will leave for Beijing on August13, which includes Abraham Chepkirwok (800m), Alex Malinga (marathon), MosesKipsiro and Geoffrey Kusuro (5,000m), Boniface Kiprop (10,000m), Benjamin Kiplagat (3,000mSC) and female runner Justine Bayigga (400m).

Team captain Serugo said his team will definitely bring home medals because of the various drills they have been going through.

Uganda has so far got six medals, including one gold, three silver and two bronze, since it started participating in the Olympic Games in 1956 in Melbourne. All the medals yielded from the sportsmen in either athletics or boxing.

The East African country won a silver and a bronze in boxing in Mexico in 1968. In 1972, it won another silver in boxing and a gold in 400m hurdles in Munich, also the nation's first and only gold in Olympics. In 1980, it won a silver in boxing in Moscow while in 1996 it won a bronze in the 400m in Atlanta.


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