By Douglas Mazune
WHILE national motor rally champion Jas Mangat is glad to make the Nile Special/Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) Sportsman of the year nomination list, professional boxer Joseph Lubega believes he has a chance against London Olympics Marathon gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich.
The sports journalists cast their vote on World Boxing Council (WBC) International heavyweight champion Lubega (inset), Kiprotich and Mangat last week.
The winner will be announced at the annual awards at Imperial Royale Hotel on Saturday.
“It’s an honour to be in the company of Uganda’s best,” Mangat who is already the motor rally driver of the year commented.
“We look forward to representing our country in Africa in the coming years. We thank our fans for their relentless support.” Mangat will take the accolade together with co-driver Gihan De Silva.
Lubega acknowledges the magnitude of Kiprotich’s achievement but still cuts a posture of self-worth.
He thinks it a two-way contest:
“I will graciously accept the outcome and I know it’s between me and Kiprotich. If he wins he deserves it, we are both deserving sportsmen,” Lubega remarked.
“If I win, I will be encouraged to bring more title belts home. I have worked hard to get where I am. I have been encouraged by these awards.
“I am glad to be nominated on the list of contenders.
“I hope to win because both of us did well. Kiprotich overshadowed everybody simply because he came from nowhere and Uganda had taken 40 years without an Olympic gold medal.
“My achievement was also great having travelled to Egypt and won the African title and then claimed the WBC International crown away in Trinidad and Tobago.”