Donald Rukare was recently appointed the chairman of the National Council of Sports Credit: Aisha Nakato

National Council of Sports (NCS) Chairman, Donald Rukare has given assurance to the country that the first batch of Team Uganda which travelled to Japan for the forthcoming Olympic games is in good shape despite suffering a health hiccup.

Rukare confirmed that one of the people on Team Uganda’s contingent tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan over the weekend but indicated the rest of the group is okay and already focused to start preparations.

“It is unfortunate that one of our team members tested positive for COVID-19 but that doesn’t call for panic. We have been in touch with the delegation and they are carrying on with preparations. I have also talked to the person who tested positive who is just asymptomatic and he is confident that he will join the rest of the group after self-isolating.” Rukare said while appearing on NTV Press Box on Monday.

Despite the name of the aforementioned person being withheld, reports indicate the member who tested positive is a coach and currently self-isolating in Tokyo while the rest of the team moved to Izumisano.

It should be noted that the first batch of Team Uganda that had 5 athletes was flagged off on Thursday last week in Lugogo and travelled the next day.

These included Uganda Bombers skipper Shadir Musa, David Ssemujju and female boxer Catherine Nanziri, weight lifter Julius Ssekitoleko plus swimmer Ambala Atuhaire

The contingent also had leader of delegation David Katende who is the Assistant General Secretary at NCS, Hakim Ssempereza (Weight lifting coach), Meddie Mulandi and Patrick Lihanda (boxing coaches).

Minister of State for Sports, Hamson Obua flags off the team on Thursday (Photo by NCS)

This is the first batch of the 27 athletes expected to represent Uganda at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. The games will be staged between Friday, July 23rd, 2021 and Sunday, August 8th, 2021

Rukare was however quick to dismiss claims of failure to observe COVID-19 Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) by Uganda.

“I have seen reports on social media claiming our athletes did not observe SOPs but this is not true. Right from the preparations they had here, we have made sure they follow the guidelines. The boxing team has been camping in Wakiso, the swimmer has been training at Hotel Africana while the weight lifter has been camping in Kampala. In addition, everyone who travelled was vaccinated and their results returned negative before travelling.” He explained.

Uganda is only the second team to set foot in Japan for the Olympic games due next month with Australia’s soft ball team being the first.

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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