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Uganda's Commonwealth team return to huge welcome

By Joseph Kizza

Added 19th April 2018 05:23 PM

A heroic homecoming for particularly Joshua Cheptegei, who won gold in both the men's 5000m and 10,000m finals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

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A heroic homecoming for particularly Joshua Cheptegei, who won gold in both the men's 5000m and 10,000m finals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES

ENTEBBE - The team that represented Uganda at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games have returned home to a celebratory welcome.

As the group of young sportsmen and sportswomen flew back, a grand reception awaited at Entebbe International Airport.

It was the sort of VIP welcome that any sportsperson representing their country on particularly the global stage would dream for. And the latest contingent got just that upon their return.

'Uganda welcomes Commonwealth Games medalists 2018', read a large banner at the airport, where a Police band played jolly-good tunes as officials lined the red carpet to warmly receive the gallant men and women that flew the Ugandan flag high on Australia's Gold Coast.

 

 

 

There's was a homecoming that every one of those young atheletes deserved - having gone out there to compete with the best the Commonwealth fraternity had to offer.

The Ugandan sportsmen and women tussled it out with more than 4,000 participants from as many as 71 Commonwealth nations for glory in 275 events in 19 sports.

In the end, they have three gold medals, one silver and two bronze to show for their collective efforts as Team Uganda.

Family, sports and government officials and the media were at the airport to welcome the group back home.

 

 
Education and sports minister First Lady Janet Museveni was also at the airport to see back the Ugandan respresentatives.

The contingent that took part in the April 4-15 event that is held after every four years included track-and-field athletes, boxers, weightlifters, swimmers, a shooter, players of netball, rugby, squash, badminton and a javelin thrower.

 

 

While She Cranes captain Peace Proscovia may have been the group's flagbearer in Australia, long-distance runner Joshua Cheptegei surely turned into the poster boy of Team Uganda at the event.

The 21-year-old athlete did what only two other men had previously done: win both the 5000m and 10,000m races at the same event.

Cheptegei replicated compatriot Moses Kipsiro's 2010 fete in fine style in front of an atmospheric crowd inside the Carrara Stadium.

Initially, he had only entered his name for the 5000m final. But the Ugandan world silver-medalist, oozing thirst for double gold, decided to take part in the 10,000m final as well.

And when he did, not even Canadian Mohammed Ahmed (silver) could stop Cheptegei.

So it is not surprising that a huge group of excited family and friends made their way to Entebbe to receive their homeboy. And what a way to return!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another athlete who was lifted shoulder-high was Stella Chesang - and for every justifiable reason.

She won the women's 10,000m final and will have been pleased to leave the Gold Coast a gold medalist.

 

 

 

Another athlete who was held high up was Mercyline Chelangat, who won bronze in the women's 10,000m final to ensure that Uganda occupied two spots on the podium.

 

Solomon Mutai won silver in the men's marathon while boxer Juma Miiro bagged bronze in the men's flyweight category.

Read the full round-up of Uganda's journey at the 2018 Commonwealth Games HERE.

 

 

 

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