Uganda dominates the 5th edition of the East Africa Speed Skating Championship

 The 5th East African Open speed Skating championship returned to Uganda and three nations took part in this event. 

Uganda put up great performances in this year’s edition by winning a total 57 medals. That is 21 Gold , Silver 21 and 15 Bronze to emerge the overall winners of the 2023 East African speed skating championships defeating Kenya and Rwanda who took part.

Eight Skating Clubs from East Africa showcased their skills at the event include Funport Skating Club (kenya ) , Believers Skating Club (Uganda ), Entebbe city Rollers Skating Club ( Uganda ) , Siaya Skating Club (kenya ), Kintale Rollers Skating Club (kenya) , Rwanda hot Club of Skate style (Rwanda )Hot street skaters club ( Uganda ) and Decobs Skating Club (Uganda ) . 

Entebbe city Rollers Skating Club impressed with highest numbers of medals at the East Africa Open Speed Skating championship in Uganda

As Uganda struggled to match Kenya’s dominance, Uganda rising star Shakir Kiggundu secured Silver medals in the intensely competitive short-distance categories of the 200-meter sprints.

In this event, Uganda stood strong , Kenya finished in second place and Rwanda conceded the third spot.

Imran Sserumaga’s performance in the demanding 10-kilometer race deserves recognition. Out of a competitive field of 12 participants, Sserumaga clinched the Gold medal in his category .

Acknowledging the dominance of Kenyan skaters across various events, Imran Sserumaga, who is also the head coach at Entebbe city Rollers Skating Club , praised his team’s determination. He highlighted the urgent need for enhanced equipment to elevate Uganda’s standing in the sport.

“It is clear that our need for standard equipment is urgent. A majority of our athletes faced challenges early on, struggling to keep pace,” he said.

Moses Ddungu, the president of the Uganda Skateboard Federation, spoke about the challenges in speed skating which affect them at continental championships.

Moses Ddungu the Uganda Skateboard Federation President awarding winners

Ddungu acknowledged the current lack of adequate facilities for speed skating due to the absence of suitable long tracks. While Uganda’s existing skate parks in Mukono and Kitintale are tailored for skateboarding, they fall short for the needs of speed skating.

“Due to the financial constraints,  we face a lot of challenges where we can’t afford modern equipment for speed skating with the Cheapest skating shoe being at 300 US dollars. That amount is too high for our athletes and the federation.” He added. 

The next event for USF will be opening up the calendar where teams will be up for the National Open Skate board championships in Mukono in January 2024.

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