By Reuben Olita
UGANDA finished second overall after scooping three gold medals, two silver and three bronze as the curtain for this yearâ€™s East African Secondary Schools games ended at Moi Stadium in Kisumu, Kenya on Saturday.
St. Maryâ€™s Kitende spurred Uganda to retaining the position after scooping two titles in soccer for boys and netball.
The football team overwhelmed Makongo of Tanzania 2-1 to retain the title they won last year in Dar es salaam.
The netball team won their fifth successive title after beating compatriots Kakungulu SSS 60-20 in the final.
Uganda's last crown came in the boys handball. Kibibi beat Kenyaâ€™s Kimilili 28-25 in the final. Gombe were dethroned by Moi Girls Kamusinga, who beat them 20-18.
It was also the first time for a Kenyan team to win the girls event that had been dominated by Ugandans since its inception in 2004.
Kakungulu (netball) and Gombe (girls handball) gave Uganda the two silver medals with Katikamu (girls volleyball, Namilyango (rugby) and Gombe (handball boys) scooping bronze for Uganda.
Kitendeâ€™s volleyball team and Gombe (handball girls) failed to defend their titles. It was the least gold medal haul for Uganda since 2005. Last year they scooped four gold, three silver and five bronze with Kenya clinching 5, 6 and 2 respectively.
Rwanda emerged the team to watch, taking third position for the first time since 2005 when they made their maiden participation. They emerged the volleyball powerhouse with St. Joseph's Ruhanga taking the title.
The event also saw the fall of Kenya's Lugulu girls who fell to their compatriots, Cheptil. They had won the regional crown since 2002. Kenya won gold in basketball boys and girls, soccer girls, volleyball girls, girls handball and rugby.
Meanwhile, Kitende director Lawrence Mulindwa, has rewarded his victorious teams with sh8m, adds Fred Kateregga.