Uganda bracing for 2020 Tokyo Olympics postponement

The Tokyo Olympics are set to start on July 24

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With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics heading towards postponement due to the spread of Covid-19, one nation’s athletes that have traditionally dealt well with missing out on global sporting events is Uganda.

The Tokyo Olympics are set to start on July 24, but speculation and insight from high-ranking International Olympic Committee officials point to an imminent postponement of the event.

At the 1976 Montreal Games, African nations wanted New Zealand banned by the International Committee after their rugby team played South Africa during apartheid.

Vicky Byarugaba was one of the best prospects on the Ugandan boxing team but did not travel to Canada.

“All African teams had reached in Montreal,” Byarugaba told publication Daily Monitor. “But Maj Gen Francis Nyangweso, who was a member of the International Boxing Association (Aiba), played a major role in convincing the African teams to boycott.”

Before the Games, BBC reported: “Athletics events will be particularly affected by the absence of Filbert Bayi from Tanzania, who holds the world record in the 1500m and John Akii-Bua of Uganda, world record-holder in the 400 metres hurdles.”

Ultimately, 28 African countries withdrew from the event with a total of 300 athletes missing out.

Fast forward to 2012, Uganda had athletes competing in every edition of the quadrennial showpiece. That was until London 2012, when Ugandan boxers could not compete due to administrative issues back home.

Light flyweight Ronald Serugo and Bantamweight Atanus Mugerwa only took part in one qualifying event for the Olympics, in which neither of them made the grade. That would turn out to be their only chance of qualifying as Uganda failed to arrange any other qualifiers for the boxers.

At the 2019 World Boxing Championships, Uganda did not send a single boxer to the competition. The Highly-rated middleweight David Ssemuju, featherweight Isaac Masembe and Hellen Baleke did not qualify.

The reason given by Uganda Boxing Federation president Moses Muhangi was that his organisation lacked the funds to prepare a team for the event.

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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