Team Uganda pulled off a master performance to win big at the recently concluded East and Southern Africa Pool Championship in Lusaka, Zambia.
Despite all the hardships in preparations, the Pool Cranes defied odds to conquer at the tournament.
The Men’s National team defeated hosts Zambia to claim the crown in the men’s category while Rukia Naiga won the Ladies singles.
Experienced Rita Nimusima was the runner up in the Ladies singles category and Hanz Kagiri was named the best team manager.
In the Men’s team event, Uganda Team A overcame Zambia Team B, winning the final 13-7 in the best of 25 frames.
A four star-studded team led by National champion Mansoor Bwanika, Ibrahim Ssejjemba, Glorious Ssenyonjo and Geoffrey Ssetumba were formidable all the way to the final.
With teams such as Botswana, Lesotho and Zimbabwe failing to turn up due to COVID-19 restrictions, the organisers were forced to make adjustments.
Uganda and hosts Zambia who had big squads fielded two teams to join Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.
Team Uganda A comfortably led group A before overcoming South Africa in a nail baiting semifinal.
Bwanika was the hero at this stage winning his game for Uganda to secure a 13-12 win and progress to the final.
In the final, Uganda was up against hosts Zambia A who had overcome Zambia Team B. The Pool Cranes were able to sweep them aside with Ssenyonjo winning a tough frame against Edward Edward Katenta to send team Uganda into wild celebrations.
In the Ladies singles, Rukia Naiga who travelled late and had to fight a bout of Malaria defied odds to win, including Africa’s top seed Nicola Rosseau from South Africa.
- Rukia Naiga (Uganda)
- Ritah Nimusiima (Uganda)
- Nicola Rosseau (South Africa)
- Aden Joseph (South Africa)
- Adea Joseph (South Africa)
- Nkole (Zambia)
Most breaks and finish games
- Ladies: Nicola Rousseau (South Africa)
- Gents: Aden Joseph (South Africa)
Best team manager
- Hanz Rugari (Uganda)
Men’s Team Event
- Uganda A
- Zambia A
- Zambia B