Team Uganda is confident of winning medals at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth games in Trinidad & Tobago.
The team of 10 participants was flagged off on Tuesday at Uganda Olympic Committee for the event that is already underway.
The Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) is an international multi-sport event organized by the Commonwealth Games Federation
The team has five swimmers and six athletes, with Swimmer Kirabo Namutebi the flag bearer.
“I feel honoured and happy to be representing Uganda at the Commonwealth Youth games,” said Kirabo.
She will represent in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m breaststroke and 50m butterfly as well as 4*100 mixed relays.
“This is my last youth championship I believe, and it shows my country trusted me to go out there and lead my fellow athletes to success as well as be a good example to them and overall am extremely honoured and happy to convey my appreciation to NCS, UOC and everyone who has put in an effort to see that we go and represent.
“I am definitely confident in my fellow athletes, and for myself, there is definitely a lot of weight on my shoulders.”
Kirabo missed out on the medal in the previous Youth games in 2017 in Bahamas when she finished fourth.
“I wasn’t able to push my country up to the podium, I did make a personal best and a new national record, but it wasn’t enough.
“But I am going with a different mindset this time; to get fun and the medals will be extra because my target is to look for Olympic qualification time, that’s my main goal at the moment and the rest will just come with ease.”
The Games come just after Kirabo returned from China where she competed at the World Aquatics championship.
When asked about the shape of her body ahead of another championship in a space of few days, she said: “As a Sprinter, I perform better the more I race, I wouldn’t say it’s a disadvantage to race back to back, I see it as an opportunity for me to race and see what exactly my body can do in such a short period of time.”
Uganda won only one medal at the 2017 Youth games, with Josephine Lalam winning Gold at the Javelin throw.
In 2015, Uganda collected four medals, by two athletes – Peruth Chemutai (tow silver) and Janat Chemusto (two bronze) at the 1500m and 3000m.
Overall, Uganda has collected 15 medals at the Commonwealth Youth games including three golds, eight silver and four bronze.
“I have confidence in my team, they were selected by UAF from National Championships after hitting the qualification time,” said Quinto Oding who is the Athletics coach.
“They were well prepared both mentally and physically, they are inspired by Peruth Chemutai, Jacob Kiplimo, Stella Chesang and Joshua Cheptegei among others who they have trained with and given them a lot of encouragement.
“We are going to compete not to just participate, we want to fight for medals and see the flag being lifted high.”
Swimmers – Calvin Pendo Moses Kaumi, Charlotte Amooti Sanford, Kirabo Namutebi, Tendo Carloton Joel Kaumi, Olivier Nalwadda (Coach)
Athletics – Financia Chekwemoiz Charity Cherop, Brenda Chekwomoi, Victor Cherotich, Jacob Sande, Raymond Omara, Quinto Oding (Coach)
Officials – Lydia Dhamuzungu (Leader of delegation), Elijah Njawuzi (Team Administrator), Donald Rukare (CGA President), Derrick Namisi (Government Representative)