Usain Bolt, already enshrined as one of the greatest Olympians of all time, became the most successful athlete in world championship history when he anchored Jamaica to victory in the 4×100 metres relay on Sunday.
Bolt followed up the 100 and 200m double with his third gold in the final event, taking his all-time tally to eight. That matches American trio Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson and Allyson Felix but the Jamaican moved ahead by virtue of his two silvers from 2007.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also completed the hat-trick as Jamaica won the women’s 4×100 relay in the second- fastest time ever, giving them all six sprint golds in Moscow to bring a smile back to the Caribbean island following the doping cloud surrounding the build-up to Moscow.
On a high-quality final day, there was a Kenyan middle-distance double as Asbel Kiprop retained his 1 500 metres title and Eunice Sum took a surprise gold in the women’s 800.
Frenchman Teddy Tamgho became the third-longest triple-jumper in history as he soared 18.04 metres to win France’s only gold of the week, while Christina Obergfoell’s javelin victory gave Germany their fourth field event title.
Traditionally athletics programmes ended with the 4x400m relay but such is Bolt’s worldwide selling power that recent events have been rejigged to ensure the Jamaican gets top billing.
Jamaica were pipped by Britain in the heats but the favourites drafted in Bolt and Nickel Ashmeade, while the US, unusually, used the same four in their evening heat as in the final.
Initially it seemed to be working in the Americans’ favour as they led approaching the final bend but Rakieem Salaam’s handover to Justin Gatlin left the individual 100m runner-up off balance. He clearly strayed into the Jamaicans’ lead outside him but somehow escaped disqualification.
It made no difference to Bolt, who streaked clear to complete victory in 37.36 seconds, the sixth-fastest ever, with the US in 37.66. Britain, another nation with a painful history of relay foul ups, crossed the line third but were disqualified for a late changeover. That promoted Canada on to the podium and somewhat made amends for the 2012 Olympics when they were disqualified after finishing third.
Bolt delighted the crowd with a celebratory Cossack dance, not easy for someone 6ft 5ins (1.95metres) tall, before parading round the track with his three medals on show for 50 000 flashing cameras.
“It gets harder every year as I get older but I’m proud of myself and my teammates and I’ll continue to work as hard as I can to dominate for as long as possible,” Bolt said.
America’s women also got it horribly wrong, although they managed a super-human recovery to claim bronze.
English Gardner had come to a complete standstill by the time she finally collected the baton for the third leg but a brilliant bend and an astounding last leg by Octavious Freeman took the US through half the field for an initial bronze behind France.
By then Jamaica’s quartet of Carrie Russell, Kerron Stewart, Schillonie Calvert and Fraser-Pryce were celebrating their win in 41.29, second only to America’s 40.82 set at last year’s Olympics and inside the drug-fuelled 41.37 ofEast Germany that stood for 27 years.
Hours later officials disqualified France for a changeover violation, promoting the US to silver to give Britain the bronze and some consolation for the men’s team’s DQ.
Having become the fourth-fastest 1 500m runner of all time last month, Kiprop started hot favourite and nobody could live with his long-striding acceleration over the last 200 metres as he triumphed in 3:36.28.
American Matthew Centrowitz took silver and South African Johan Cronje a surprise bronze as both men finished strongly.
Sum’s victory was much less expected as her late burst denied Russia’s Mariya Savinova back-to-back 800m titles.
She took gold in 1:57.38, ahead of Savinova (1:57.80). Brenda Martinez grabbed third as she overhauled compatriot Alysia Johnson Montano, who had run a brave front-running race but ended fourth, flat on the track and sobbing uncontrollably.
Tamgho was already leading when he landed two fouls around the 18-metre mark before nailing the breakthrough distance with his last. Only American Kenny Harrison (18.09) and Jonathan Edwards, with his 1995 world record of 18.29 and 18.16 from the same Gothenburg world championships,
have jumped longer.
Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba took silver with 17.68 and American Will Claye was third on 17.52, well clear of out-of-sorts compatriot and world and Olympic champion Christian Taylor in a frustrated fourth.
After years of agonising near misses, an emotional Obergfoell took her first major javelin title at the age of 31 after throwing a season’s best 69.05 metres.
Defending champion Maria Abakumova could only manage 65.09 behind surprise Australian runner-up Kimberly Mickle (66.60), to match the bronze her husband Dmitri Tarabin won in the men’s final.
Obergfoell had previously won two silvers as well as finishing second and third at the last two Olympics.
Russia topped the medal table with seven golds, though the Americans will promote themselves top under their counting system after finishing second on six but also gathering a mountain of 14 silvers in a total of 25.
Jamaica also had six golds with Kenya on five, Germany four and Ethiopia and Britain both on three.
After signing off with a near-full house on Sunday following a week of poor crowds, the IAAF will be delighted to send their showpiece event to Beijing in 2015 and London two years later as returning to the most recent Olympic stadiums should guarantee healthy attendances throughout.
UTB partners with FUFA to promote sports tourism
By Our Reporter
Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has entered into a Ugx200m sponsorship agreement and partnership with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) as the official tourism partner.
The two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding; which will see both parties work hand in hand to promote brand “destination Uganda” at both the domestic and international scene.
The partnership gives UTB rights to brand Destination Uganda at local and international games in which the Uganda Cranes are participating as well as work with the players in destination marketing campaigns.
Speaking at the press conference, UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova said: “The Uganda Tourism Board is prioritizing the building of positive destination brand equity and brand value through creating high level brand awareness partnerships such as the one witnessed here today with FUFA.”
Football is the world’s greatest sport and viewed by billions of fans across the world. In Uganda, the Uganda Cranes is the greatest football brand- but more importantly the leading sporting ambassadors to the region and the world.
Ajarova noted, “We are most excited about how we can best brand our national team internationally and also use the FUFA DRUM to create awareness of Uganda’s tourist attractions as the games traverse the whole country. We believe this is an incredible opportunity to connect with local communities and football fans across the country and will enable us to reach out to more tourists both locally and internationally.”
FUFA 1st Vice President, Justus Mugisha in his remarks said that, “We are using the power of sports to position Uganda on a global scene. This initiative by FUFA and UTB will showcase how football can be used to promote destination Uganda. We are proud to be in partnership and we hope to continue building our nation through sports and tourism.”
He added, this is a big opportunity for us to not only support football but also enrich Ugandans with the knowledge about their own country.
Uganda ladies crowned champions at the Africa 5s tournament
By Our Reporter
Team Uganda emerged the best at the inaugural edition of the ladies’ Africa Fives Soccer Championships played at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania over the weekend.
The team sponsored by Nile Special comprising of players like Vanessa Karungi, Brenda Nabisaalu, Wilmer Nantumbwe, Sarah Namulindwa, Memory Nampijja and Brenda Makanga, defeated the Tanzania Invitational side 1-0 in the final played on Saturday afternoon.
Captain Nampijja scored the winner-takes-it-all strike in the ninth minute of the 12-minute first half.
With a large number of Tanzanian fans cheering, Uganda held on in the second half with goalkeeper Karungi pulling off a couple of saves to guide Uganda to victory.
“We are happy to bring this trophy home,” said winning captain Nampijja after receiving the trophy from tournament ambassador Samuel Eto’o. The team will travel with former Cameroonian forward Eto’o to FC Barcelona’s home -Camp Nou.
Speaking about the women’s side triumph, Nile Special brand manager Francis Nyende was ecstatic and visibly in shock at the result.
“This Uganda’s inaugural participation in this tournament, and we have won the trophy! This is unbelievable. Kudos to the girls who have given it their everything. As a brand heavily involved in sports, we hope this victory will inspire more ladies to play this game,” said Nyende.
The team had beaten pre-tournament favourites South Africa 2-1 via a shootout where Karungi saved two penalties following a goalless draw.
In the quarterfinals, Uganda comfortably beat Ghana 3-0 with Nantumbwe striking twice. Uganda had beaten Zimbabwe 2-1, had a 1-1 draw with Tanzania A before losing to Swaziland 1-0 in Group A on Friday.
In the men’s category, Uganda was unlucky to be ejected after conceding a goal. Represented by Facebook FC franchise, which won the Nile Special 5-A-Side competition finals, Uganda beat Swaziland 5-0, Zimbabwe 1-0 and Tanzania 1-0 to top Group A on Friday but on Saturday, they lost to Group B bottom team Zambia 2-1 via penalties following a 0-0 stalemate.
Excitement as Pepsi hosts champions league finale watch party
By Our Reporter
Football lovers and enthusiasts were treated to a fun evening as Pepsi Uganda hosted the UEFA Champions league finale watch party on Saturday.
Held at The Square in Industrial Area, Liverpool supporters were the most joyous as their team defeated Tottenham Hot Spurs 2-0 to win this season’s UEFA Champions League.
The viewing party featured several fun activities including a quiz in which winners were rewarded different prizes like balls, jerseys and cash.
The event was held to mark the climax of Pepsi Uganda’s “Win like a baller” promotion. The promotion which was launched in early February presented a platform for soccer fans and lovers to win up to Ugx 15 million weekly in a TV draw and instant cash and airtime daily. Over Ugx 400 million was given out during the duration of the campaign.
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