Uganda’s arrangements for the impending 2020 Tokyo Olympics hit an early blow after their Coach Patrick Lihanda tested positive for Covid19 upon arrival in Japan, Ndibba learnt
Lihanda is among the nine members of Team Uganda who left the country for Japan for early preparations and acclimatisation. The team arrived on Saturday night at Tokyo’s Narita airport.
Uganda Olympic Committee Chairman Dr Donald Rukare has stated:
We have received notification that upon arrival one member of the team delegation of nine tested COVID-19 positive.
The delegation has been fully vaccinated and underwent the mandatory two COVID19 tests before departure. All were negative.
The rest of team members (eight) have arrived in Izumisano city Osaka. We are liaising with the team and the Embassy of Uganda officials in Tokyo. The safety and health of our team remains our paramount priority.
The team had the three boxers Catherine Nanziri, David Kavuma Ssemujju and the captain of the bomber Shadir Musa Bwogi. Others were weight lifter Julius Ssekitoleko and swimmer Ambala Atuhaire.
This group was led by assistant general secretary NCS David Katende Ssemakula, Hakim Ssempereza a Weight lifting coach and two boxing coaches Meddie Mulandi, and Lihanda.
This means that the three boxers will look to coach Mulandi.
A top official at Uganda Boxing Federation has blamed the Local Organising Committee for allowing the team “moving in and out of camp” while they were still in residential camp in Kavumba Recreational Centre, Wakiso.
The UBF official has also blamed the LOC for taking few officials from the Boxing Federation, adding that “the team is stuck with only one coach.”
The boxing tournaments at the 2020 Olympics start on 24 July to 8 August 2021 at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan.
God forbid at the time of competition if coach Lihanda has not recovered, and we have two boxers in action; one in ring A and another in ring B, at the same time, I wonder how coach Mulandi will divide himself in two persons to go second both.
Lihanda has Aiba star 1 certification and he is a double Olympian having represented the country in 1984 and 1988.
As a coach he has led the bombers to the Africa youth Boxing championship, the World Boxing championship in Germany, Olympic boxing qualifiers, Bingwa wa Mabingwa, East African games among others.
Now for the meantime, the mantle is in the hands of Coach Mulandi, a former boxer with KBC who is among the few AIBA star coaches in the Country and has been at the National duty before.
Mulandi spearheaded the bombers team at the Africa Boxing Championship, then at the All Africa games in 2019 and the East Africa games.