Ugandan Rowing Ambassadors in Alfred Okello (juniors) and Gerald Ssemambo (seniors) at the ongoing African Championships in Tunisia have continued to make headlines and now target qualification to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Okello, has already clichéd a bronze medal in the sprints despite missing out on direct qualification for the 2014 Youth Olympics in Wednesday’s qualifier.
According to experienced Rowing coach and Team manager Tomas Friedhoff, a Dutch who fell in love with Ugandan Rowing, this puts Okello and Ssemambo very hot favourites to represent Uganda in brighter and more competitive world rowing events including the 2016 Olympic games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil.
A quite impressive performance from the 17-year old, who had very little outings in a skiff prior to this event. His good performance and already a Bronze last Sunday, even more remarkable according to Friedhoff.
“He might be a natural. I was quite impressed with his boat handling and technique. I can’t wait to work on his physique, together with coach Muhumaza Rodrick and the Ugandan Rowing Federation.”, Friedhoff testifies to Kawowo Sports.
“If coached well, together with Gerald Ssemambo, this might make for a fast lightweight double in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympics”, he adds.
Meanwhile, another Ugandan, Gerald Ssemambo competed in the Adult Lightweight Men Single Sculls, where he came in second as well, qualifying easily direct for finals. He is now up to serious competition from amongst others the Host Nation, Tunisia.
“ We might have a medal contender on our hands”, according to Friedhoff and Rodrick, the two officials handling the Ugandan boys in Tunisia.
Uganda is destined for greater heights on the rowing front but African nations like Tunesia, Angola, Algeria & Libya, backed by domestic companies pose serious opposition along the way.
As the sun dawns, a crane bird comes by. Coincidence? Perhaps. Or a sign that Uganda’s rowing future is bright, if the right backing is found.
Follow up coming developments on Kawowo Sports from Tunis.