By Our Reporter
The inaugural MTN Eastern National Half Marathon held on Sunday was dominated by the Uganda Police Athletics Club. The half marathon took place in Mbale town, starting and ending at the Mulukhu Sports Ground. It involved mostly elite athletes for both the 21 kilometers and 10 kilometers races.
Uganda Police had a total of 8 athletes that qualified to walk-away with prize money. They were closely followed by Arua Athletics club and Uganda Prisons Service with a total of six each that walked away with prize money.
The athletes traversed the outskirts of Mbale town and run as far as 14 kilometers along the Mbale – Tororo Highway. Flagged off at 9am, the MTN Eastern National Half-Marathon championships will be annual event.
The flagship event, the 21kilometers half marathon for men was won by Kiplimo Philip from Uganda Prisons Service, who clocked at time of 1 hour and 30 seconds.
Olympic gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich finished 4 th in the same race, clocking a time of 1 hour and 54 seconds. Kiprotich noted he had come to give morale to the upcoming elite athletes that had come to participate in the half-marathon.
In 21kms for the ladies, Chebet Emily from UPDF finished first, clocking a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and 56 seconds.
Organized by the Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), the event has been used to select a national team of men and women to represent the country at the IAAF World Road Running Championships slated for March 24, 2018 in Valencia, Spain. UAF will announce the team by end of 2017.
“We suggested to MTN to have 3 regional road races in a year, in the run-up to the main MTN Kampala Marathon as part of getting talent that would eventually represent Uganda at the international stage. This is just the start and next year we shall we shall have national road races in Northern, Western and Eastern Uganda,” explained Dominic Otuchet the President UAF at the Mulukhu grounds after the races.
Eastern Uganda remains the hub for talent in terms of long distance running. “Such events help with the rise of previously unknown athletes. Our partnership with UAF we are spreading the search for talent right across the country,” said Valery Oketcho, the Corporate Communications Manager at MTN Uganda.
The Eastern MTN Half Marathon, Mbale provided an opportunity to expose its ‘dormant’ talent and surrounding districts are situated in high altitude areas conducive to producing good and talented middle and long distance runners. Mbale, Sironko, Manafwa, Bulambuli amongst others have lagged behind leaving Sebei Sub region to dominate long distance running.
The winning athletes (top 5 for 10kms and top 10 for 21kms) are expected to also participate in the MTN Kampala Marathon on Sunday, November 19 th 2017.
StarTimes acquires exclusive broadcasting rights for UEFA Europa League
Africa’s leading pay-TV operator StarTimes has acquired exclusive broadcasting rights for UEFA Europa League in Sub-Saharan Africa until 2021. The broadcast, which will begin on September 20th, will see football fans enjoy matches between the best European clubs. “We are very happy to bring UEFA Europa League to our subscribers. This summer FIFA World Cup was a success and fans really appreciated that we brought them ICC exclusive and live right after. So we thought that they would be delighted to watch another European club competition on StarTimes,” explained Aldrine Nsubuga Snr, StarTimes Uganda Marketing VP. “We are working hard to bring the best sport content to our subscribers. This season will be intense for football fans with Bundesliga, French Ligue 1, FIFA Club World Cup, French & Italian Cups and now UEFA Europa League.”
StarTimes will not only exclusively broadcast UEFA Europa League in Uganda but also in all Sub-Saharan Africa except South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. StarTimes has been awarded exclusive rights for English, Portuguese and local languages in English and Portuguese speaking areas.
Kickboxer Umar Semata to train abroad in preparation for fight with Golola Moses
By Our Reporter
Kickboxer Umar Semata is flying abroad on Tuesday as he intensifies preparations for his much-anticipated fight with the Golola Moses which will take place on October 13 at Freedom City. Semata who was officially flagged off by Pemba Sports Africa on Monday will enroll for a specialized training program for one month with top kickboxing coaches in Phuket, Thailand.
Speaking at the send off ceremony, Semata expressed excitement about going for training in Thailand as he revealed that it will allow him to fully concentrate and give him the right mental focus. “You can not be the best without a good trainer, and so training in Thailand will put me in the best shape for the fight.” He noted.
The training is being facilitated by Pemba Sports Africa to a tune of US$ 10,000 which is inclusive of flights, accommodation, welfare and training in Thailand.
Pemba Sports Africa chairman, Jack Pemba is optimistic that this specialized training will guarantee Semata’s victory against Golola. “We are about to make Golola go into retirement, because Semata will crush him and there will be no comeback for him.” He stated.
Semata, also referred to as “The Pain”, weighs 75kg and is a super middleweight Muay Thai fighter who is the current World Boxing Council Muay Thai Super middleweight champion. He boasts of 42 career wins.
Jack Pemba seals mega deal with American star Jay Z
By Our Reporter
Socialite and sports businessman, Jack Pemba has secured a mega sporting deal, we have learnt.
Pemba, who has been off the social scene recently, was in the US on a business trip where he met with American hip-hop mogul Jay Z to discuss possible partnerships. It has now emerged that the meetings bore fruit as Jack Pemba has revealed that through his company Pemba Sports Africa he will be working with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports to promote the boxing sport in Uganda.
“I have signed a deal with Jay Z’s sports company,” he told media on Monday. “And with support from the Ministry of Education and Sports, we shall be promoting boxing in Uganda.”
“There is a lot of local boxing talent because Uganda is ranked top in the East and Central Africa region. We want to promote this talent so they can shine on the international stage.” He added.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that Pemba has previously been involved in several sporting activities in the country such as offering sponsorship to different athletes who include body builder Ivan Byekwaso and kick boxer Umar Semata among others.
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