The team that represented Uganda in the just concluded All Africa Paralympic Games held in Morocco has returned home this evening, with 10 medals.
The team won three gold, three silver and four bronze medals in the competition which was also the Paralympic qualifier event for athletics, blind ball, javelin and long jump among other sports. This means that all Uganda’s Gold medalists qualified for the much anticipated Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games scheduled for August 25 to September 6.
The athletes who qualified are David Emong, competing in the 1500 meters’ category of athletes whose upper limb is affected but with functional legs, Monica Ilalo and Peace Oroma, who was competing in the Javelin and 100 meters’ category of people with visual impairment. They qualified after meeting the minimum entry standard time for respective track events.
Coach, Jameson Ssenkungu told Uganda Radio Network-URN that he had expected between 5-7 athletes to qualify at the just concluded All Africa Paralympic Games. He is however happy that Uganda will send a minimum of three athletes, up from one in the previous edition held in 2016.
Emong was the only athlete who participated in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games and won a silver medal in the same race.
To qualify for Tokyo Paralympic Games, athletes should be at least 16 years by end of this year and have to achieve one maximum entry standard performance at any World Para Athletics recognized competitions between October 1, 2018, to August 2, 2020. Each country can send a maximum of 80 athletes-45 males and 35 females and a maximum of three athletes in individual medal events.
Ssenkungu, however, says some of the athletes have another opportunity to qualify by mid-year. The final list of athletes who have qualified from Uganda and other countries will be published by June.