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MTN honours Commonwealth medalists with luncheon

By Michael Nsubuga

Added 2nd May 2018 07:29 PM

This was the second in the series of appreciations by MTN having hosted the same team to a dinner last week at Serena Hotel.

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This was the second in the series of appreciations by MTN having hosted the same team to a dinner last week at Serena Hotel.

Uganda’s Commonwealth games medalists continued to enjoy the limelight when they were hosted to a luncheon at MTN offices at Nyonyi Gardens on Wednesday.

And as a teenager, MTN CEO Wim Vanhelleputte’s dream was to become a professional runner, win medals and become famous.

But his dream evaporated at 17 when he ‘retired’ with a personal best of 1.59 in the 800m race.

But he awakened his dream and came closer to realising it at the event where  Uganda Athletics Federation officials and athletes including the Commonwealth Games athletes who won 6 medals at the 21st championship in Gold Coast, Australia, attended.

Apart from Joshua Cheptegei who missed the occasion having lost his grandmother, it was a great feeling for Wim as he posed with Stella Chesang (Gold), Mercyline  Chelangat (bronze), Solomon Mutai (silver) and boxer Juma Miiro (bronze) who won medals in the 10,000 and marathon respectively.

This was the second in the series of appreciations by MTN having hosted the same team to a dinner last week at Serena Hotel.

“As MTN, you make us proud and our greatest accomplishment is we have been with you for the past 14 years. We haven’t just joined after you were successful but we have been together from the early days when Kenya and Ethiopia were the house hold names,"

“I feel proud that the team we met on the ground 14 years ago saw the light to partner with us; it gives us great pride that you’re have made us proud and you are carrying the Ugandan flag high,” Wim stated before promising more collaboration with UAF for the next three years.

He challenged the team to ensure early preparations and return with more success from the World Championships and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

UAF President Dominic Otuchet thanked MTN for laying a strong foundation for the success that Uganda has enjoyed in athletics, saying they have since got a large pool of athletes and marathoners.

 Athletes Stella Chesang and Mercelyn Chelengat, Juma Miiroa and Solomon Mutai serve lunch at Nyonyi Gardens. PHOTO: Michael Nsubuga

“We appreciate you so much. We finished 4th in Africa and the performances were exciting amd prepared for. We prepared well in time and government also did their part by paying allowances in record time.

“The 10,000 race now belongs to Uganda; Cheptegei made it four seasons in a row that Uganda was winning. Kipsiro won in Glasgow and New Delhi and in Melbourne in 2016 Boniface Kiprop was victorious. But we also registered a first win in the women 10,000m at the senior level which came as a result of team work,” Otuchet noted.

He said UAF was committed to promoting athletics following the 14-year blessing from MTN and was ready for more engagement to ensure more success.

The luncheon was attended by the top leadership at MTN, UAF executives and coaches and journalists.

 

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