Uganda Sports Press Association (Uspa) decided Victor Kiplangat’s Commonwealth Games marathon gold was too good to be ignored when they voted for the sports personalities of the months of January to August during their assembly on Monday at Imperial Royale Hotel.
Kiplangat ran to gold in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 55 microseconds but could have had the 10,000m World Champion Joshua Cheptegei for competition as best athlete for the month of July in the Uspa room had the house not decided to go for the 22 year old unanimously.
“We are not justifying ourselves but we just want to explain that Kiplangat’s gold, Uganda’s first marathon gold at the CWG, was something worth rewarding,” Uspa president Patrick Kanyomozi said.
Kanyomozi, who is also coming to the end of his second and final two-year term in office was put to task to release the electoral roadmap as soon as possible and also work faster with sponsors Nile Special on activating the Uspa Awards Gala, one where the previous year’s best athletes per sports discipline are rewarded.
The athletics dominance in our sports sector continued as Jacob Kiplimo’s 5,000m and 10,000m CWG double gold edged Husnah Kukundakwe’s six para-swimming medals at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Konya, Turkey for the August accolade.
Earlier Halimah Nakaayi had beaten fellow runner Mercyline Chelangat to the February award for her 800m indoor exploits in the France.
Kukundakwe did not bow out empty handed as her medals in the youth category of the World Para-Swimming Series in Italy earned her the March accolade.
That was far as individual merit won. The other four awards up for grabs were won by teams.
The U-19 Cricket Cranes were rewarded for their participation in the January World Cup while the April accolade went to the Rugby 7s team for winning their third Africa Cup in six years.
The rally crew of Jas Mangat and Joseph Kamya was then awarded the May honours for winning the Pearl of Africa Rally while Crested Cranes were rewarded for winning their maiden Cecafa Women Championship title in June.
Many other athletes were commended for their performances as there can only be one winner per month.
USPA SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE MONTH
January: U-19 Cricket Cranes
May: Jas Mangat/ Joseph Kamya