TOP
Friday,September 18,2020 11:13 AM

Inzikuru was the toast, but after a tough fight

By Vision Reporter

Added 1st January 2006 03:00 AM

DORCUS Inzikuru was the sporting light that threatened to illuminate 2005 to blindness, but debate should rightfully rage over whether she was the stand-out individual performer. This because, and not for argument’s sake, there are other players whose stars shone equally bright.

DORCUS Inzikuru was the sporting light that threatened to illuminate 2005 to blindness, but debate should rightfully rage over whether she was the stand-out individual performer. This because, and not for argument’s sake, there are other players whose stars shone equally bright.

By Paul Mbuga

DORCUS Inzikuru was the sporting light that threatened to illuminate 2005 to blindness, but debate should rightfully rage over whether she was the stand-out individual performer. This because, and not for argument’s sake, there are other players whose stars shone equally bright.

Geoffrey Massa, the revelation of a pedestrian football season, stakes an immediate claim. At the start of the year, Massa joined newly crowned City Tyres league champions Police from Mbale Heroes with a reputation that could hardly fill a teacup.

Now, he is well placed to grab the Uganda Cranes’ lead striker mantle from the fickle Hassan Mubiru. Massa, 19, finished second on the league goal-scoring chart with an impressive 13 goals; and he might as well have grabbed the Golden Boot if he did not so selflessly feed strike partner Martin Muwanga, league top-scorer (15 goals), with assists.
Massa possesses a creditable all-round ability along with the requisite temperament and discipline - enough reason a much-touted move to Egyptian club El Massry may eventually come to pass.

Stephen Kasaija received just reward for some biblical patience and toil. A scratch player, Kasaija won the national golf championship, claiming seven of the fourteen championship events. He is a beautiful long hitter, proficient with the chip and putt, and possesses the one trait no amount of talent can dare substitute: consistency.

Chief among Deo Akope’s achievements was the triumph in the Tanzania Open and bound to move ship to Kenya after turning professional. Charles Yokwe won the flagship championship event, the Uganda Open. It is palatable to argue that the highly-rated competition on show at the meet would qualify the winner as a worthy champion; in this case, Yokwe as a worthy national champion.

The cricket World Cup qualifiers in Ireland brought to the fore three youngsters. Charles Waiswa and Emmanuel Issaneezz had made their bones in the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Kenya and Namibia, and along with Hamza Saleh, were the celebrating cause of a controversy-ridded campaign in Ireland. The three are core members of the team that has qualified for the U-19 cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka in February. Nile CC’s Roger Mukasa won the Man-of-the-Series award after a splendid batting performance in the league. With an enviable scoring average, he is one to pencil in for this year.

Badru Lusambya did well to defend his Africa Boxing Council Super Welterweight title twice and make rivals scamper for safety and despite his loss to Roman Karmazin, Kassim Ouma remains firmly in the frame for recognition. And so does Riyaz Kurji, winner of three Africa Rally Championship events but ultimately undone by a dodgy scoring system. The winner, Munna Singh, did not win a single event.

Norman Blick was the admittedly predictable star of the basketball league. An all-rounder in the strict sense of the word, Blick’s leadership and imposing scoring average (18 points per game) led Nkumba Marines to the title. A-1 Challenge’s Gloria Kyomugisha was the female MVP. While scoring is not her strongest point, Kyomugisha is a mistress of quiet strategy, her passing and timely shooting supreme gifts.

Ivan Enabu stood out among a pool of brilliant players when Uganda beat Kenya for the first time in twelve years, 70-69, in the East, Central and Southern Africa Basketball Championships in Kampala.

As did budding rally ace, Posiano Lwakataka, who harvested his maiden National Rally Championship with a spirited, last-ditch crusade to overtake Riyaz Kurji.

Lwakataka dedicated his new crown to his new-found God —— having been born-again just weeks prior to his monumental triumph.
Lwakataka’s accolade was a victory of consistency. Despite winning an inferior number of events, Lwakataka’s ability to consistently partake and finish all races had him in good stead when push came to shove.

But you have to spare a thought for Kurji. He could have easily ended the season as both local and continental champion. But he similarly lost out to Munna Singh.
Unlike Inzikuru, Boniface Kiprop had the modesty to spare his rivals all-conquering runs, but his displays in the 10000m demand appreciation. He finished fourth in the World Athletics Championships; a race in which he was tipped for a medal-position finish.

Kiprop however, and with no disrespect to Inzikuru, had to deal with more established opposition; and opposition does not come in a more resolute way than Kenenisa Bekele, Eliud Kipchoge and Benjamin Limo, the three long-distance giants who lie ahead of Kiprop on the IAAF 10000m world rankings.

Inzikuru tops the bill after all, and examining her achievements would be re-tracing a well-worn path. But it is necessary. At the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki, Finland in August, Inzikuru won the final of the 3000m-steeplechase event in 9:18:24 to become the female world champion in the event. Inzikuru won with a panache that she has since stamped as her style; running with the pack for the first 800m, peeling off and setting a pace her rivals have been hard-put to match and invariably winning the race by 200m or so.

Inzikuru’s 2005 resume is brimming with other milestones; she has run a world best 9:15:05 and 6:04:06 in the 3000 and 2000m steeplechase respectively, rated among the top five athletics performers of the year by world governing body IAAF - no small achievement - and she crows atop the steeplechase rankings.

To that, is the attractive persona she possesses; Inzikuru is humble, amiable, freewheeling and floats a smile without prompting.

Inzikuru was the toast, but after a tough fight

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author