Sports

Rwanda picks 49 athletes for Africa Youth Games

Forty nine athletes have been selected to start preparations ahead of representing Rwanda in the second edition of the African Youth Games scheduled to be held in Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana from May 22-31. The team which is dominated by female athletes (30) and 19 males, will compete in 12 sports disciplines including athletics, basketball (3 on 3), boxing, cycling, fencing, golf, karate, lawn tennis, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo and volleyball. This is the first time that Rwanda will take part in the youth games which have set a platform for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) that will be held in Nanjing, China. The Gaborone event is a qualifying platform for athletics and swimming to the Youth Olympic Games scheduled to run from August 16 to 28. The head of delegation, Rwanda Olympic Committee and Sports’ second vice president Elie Manirarora said, “We need medals. This is also the way forward towards the Rio Olympics in 2016 and Tokyo in 2020. This is how we are going to raise ‘Generations of Champions’.” By Bonnie Mugabe, The New Times

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Rwanda V-ball federation urged to send more players for pro trials

Emmanuel Bugingo, the director of sports at the Ministry of Sports and Culture has urged the Rwanda Volleyball Federation to send many players for professional ranks. Bugingo made the remarks as the Ministry and federation officials welcomed the national team back from the just concluded 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championships qualifiers on Wednesday. The qualifiers were won by hosts Cameroon. Rwanda finished third behind Algeria but ahead of Nigeria and Gabon. “If you have many players, who are playing outside the country, it helps the national team to do much better. So we need to invest in sending more players to play at the professional level,” Bugingo told the players and their coaching staff at Sports View hotel. Bugingo noted that the team did well; losing only one game out of four played. “The boys tried their best and we should thank the team for the hard effort,” he said. Rwanda beat Cameron, Gabon and Nigeria 3-1 respectively but lost the opening game against Algeria, which cost Paul Bitok’s side a chance to book a ticket for the world championships. Cameroon became the second country to receive that ticket after Egypt. Qualifiers in Pool Y will be played in Tunisia starting March 2-8 with the hosts competing against Seychelles, Senegal, and Congo Brazzaville for the third slot. By Peter Kamasa, The New Times

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Mashami aims to win all nine remaining matches

Interim head coach Vincent Mashami is aiming to win all the nine remaining Turbo King National Football league matches as he bids to lead APR to the 2013/2014 title. Vincent Mashimi talks to the media after winning his first game in charge against Police FC two weeks ago. The army side, seeking a record extending 14th league title, sit on top of the table with 40 points, three points clear of the reigning champions Rayon Sports. Mashami has won his first two games since replacing German Andreas Spier who resigned. “Everyone is focused on winning the remaining matches, which will help us to win the title; we are determined to do better than before. Our aim is not to surrender the top spot, and we need to continue with our winning style,” Mashami told Saturday Sport. The 32-year-old noted that the team will manage the pressure that comes with being on top of table. “We need to be consistent, and if we can do that for the rest of the season, I don’t see why we can’t win the league. We know we can do better in upcoming matches but it is good to have strong mentality and character to be a winner. This is what we need in our team and I am trying to guide this team to success.” APR, who have only lost once this season against AS Kigali, play their next two league games against Mukura next weekend and Etincelles a week later. By Peter Kamasa, The New Times

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Okwi leads Yanga against Ruvu

Ugandan striker Emmanuel Okwi is expected to start today as defending champions Young Africans face Ruvu Shooting at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam in a cut throat Mainland Premier League encounter. Emmanuel Okwi Title rivals Azam FC and Mbeya City will also be in action today. Table toppers Azam will be at their home ground; Chamazi Complex to face rejuvenated Tanzania Prisons, while third placed Mbeya City travel to Tanga to face Coastal Union at the Mkwakwani Stadium. Both Azam and Yanga will be retuning to the local league, after two weeks break to allow them launch a successful campaign in the CAF club competitions. Yanga, who are second in the league table on 35 points, are the country envoys in CAF Champions League and they successfully dispatched Komorizine of Comoro in the preliminary round by 12-1 aggregate to set up a date with holders Al Ahly of Egypt. Azam were dismissed in CAF Confederation Cup after suffering a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Ferroviario de Beira. They won 1-0 in the first leg but suffered a 2-0 defeat in the second leg in Beira. For the past few days Yanga have arduously been gunning up for this crunch clash in the city, knowing that a win will pave their way to league glory this season. With two games in hand, Coach Hans Van der Pluijm team should be viewed as favourites in this title race. The yellow-green sporting side, have experience and importantly, they know how to finish the race and retain the trophy they won last season. Dutch Coach Pluijm admitted that he does not have a clear picture and strength of the opponents they will face today but he is convinced that Ruvu Shooting who sits fifth in the league table on 25 points will provide a stiff resistance against his side. He told the club’s website that “We’re well aware that it won’t be an easy game for us but we’re well prepared for the battle. Our players are in good shape and the good news is that we’ve no injuries and this will give us a bit of selection headache.” Offensively, Yanga’s hopes rest on Ugandan goal poacher Hamisi Kiiza, Didier Kavumbagu and Mrisho Ngassa. They have the most potent striking force in the league and certainly, present an utmost challenge to Ruvu Shooting and with top striker Emmanuel Okwi available, coach Pluijm will be rich in attacking selection. Reports within the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) suggest that Okwi’s licence from CAF has been secured and the player is free to be used by his new club for both local and international assignments. However, the fact that Ruvu Shooting are not playing for survival, would mean that pressure will be on Yanga to snatch maximum points. Ruvu Shooting will certainly be playing to keep their mid table status strong. The day will also see Azam confronting Tanzania Prisons. Azam on 36 points are on top of the 14 teams’ league and with two games in hand, a win for the ice cream makers against Tanzania Prisons will continue to throw the title race wide open. Azam, who are craving for their first ever top flight silverware, could open a four point lead if Yanga and Mbeya city slip up. Mbeya City will be up against Coastal Union, who have only managed two points in the second round of the league so far. Tomorrow, fourth placed Simba will play against JKT Ruvu at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam

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Leopards face French Navy

Dar Leopards Rugby team will have a preseason match against a French navy side at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) grounds on Sunday. The match, which is programmed to start at 4pm, will provide the opportunity for the Leopards to warm-up for their match against the Arusha Rhinos to start the season next month. Their opponents on Sunday are actually members from a team on board a visiting French Navy ship, which is expected to be docking into the Dar es Salaam port this weekend. “For us it’s an opportunity to test our levels and make sure everything is in place before going into our first official rugby game of our cup this season. We encourage local rugby fans to come out in their numbers to encourage their side,” the Leopards’ Chairman, Philippe Poinsot, told the ‘Daily News on Saturday’ on Friday. He confirmed that Sunday’s encounter will be a full combat game, which he is expecting to have many tries. Seeing that his team has been working hard on all the various stages of the game, he added makes him confident of the Leopard’s being victorious and winning the match, although he expects the visitors to give them a big fight. “Such preseason matches are extremely important to the team because you can train as much as you want but the proof of the pudding, as they say, is when you get the chance to face an adversary and see whether or not you can bring out what is required to get the tries,” he said. The actual rugby season starts on the eight of next month and he is pleased the team will get this opportunity on Sunday to test their ability after months of training. With regards to the visitors, Sunday’s game will give them the chance to flex their muscles after months at sea. It will also give a chance for the new players who have joined the Leopards side this season to show how they work as a team. By IMAN MANI, Tanzania Daily News

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Uganda Cranes to face Zambia

Uganda Cranes striker Yunus Sentamu is expected to return to the FUFA Super League Friday after an unsuccessful bid at professional football in South Africa. Yunus Ssentamu League leaders Vipers will take on Jinja-based side BUL at the Kitende ground. The 19-year-old striker is back in the country after undergoing trials with South African side Amazulu. Striker back Vipers secretary Haruna Kyobe confirmed Sentamu’s inability to make his mark during the trials, adding that he is back to the club. The official added that the player trained with his teammates. Kyobe said that Coach Richard Wasswa picked him to lead the attack during the training session. He went on to say, “I believe that the South Africans realised that Sentamu had been rushed for the trials. “The player is back home. But we have not yet got any communication from the South African club.” Kyobe said that the striker will stay with the team for the rest of the season before he can embark on a fresh bid for professional football. Sentamu shot to the light- lime after his brilliant scoring skills at the African Nations Championship in South Africa recently. He scored three goals though Uganda Cranes failed to go past the group stages. The player was making his Cranes debut. Sentamu’s return will further boost Viper’s league title campaign. Chasing title The team leads domestic football’s premier competition with 32 points from 16 matches in the second round schedule. BUL are in 7th position with 26 points from the same number of games. A successful campaign will lead Vipers to their maiden league crown. Meanwhile, Soana coach Richard Makumbi has urged his charges to step up their performance in a bid to finish among the top four. Meanwhile, Uganda Cranes will take on former African champions Zambia in an international friendly in Ndola on March 5. Today: 4:30pm FUFA Super League K. Young v Express FC Soana v Police Proline v SCVU Entebbe v URA BUL v Vipers Masaka v Simba B. Stars v SC Villa Uganda Cup: 4:30pm K. United v KCCA By Swalley Kenyi and Shafik Ssenoga, The New Vision

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Team Ikong take on Enabu outfit live on Urban TV

Team Ikong’s debut in Season Four of the Friday Night Lights (FNL) at the YMCA will be captured live on Urban TV, a fact that should add extra spice to their bow. Team Ikong, winners of the first two editions and semi-finalists last year, have a reputation of rising to the occasion. And they should, given the calibre of their opponent tonight. Team Enabu play at the kind of frenetic pace seen in the NBL postseason rather than a preseason tournament like FNL. Of course, that is down to the playing style of the Team Enabu captain, Ivan and his younger sibling Jimmy, both blessed with rocket feet. Joseph Ikong is no slouch himself and he is at his best in the open floor, all of which promises a highly intense battle that should deter fans from heading home early, seeing as this is the last of the Day 2’s four matches. Day 1 was, of course, a success, thanks in part to the brilliant individual display of Sudi Ulanga, who grabbed a season high 32 points and 16 rebounds as his team tore apart defending champions Team Malinga 65-37. Team Sudi should make it two wins out of two when they face the slow-moving Team Legends, beaten 49-27 by Team Enabu last week. Team Kasewu also make their debut today, versus Team Duxx (who lost 54-46 to Team KB08 last week). Team KB08 face the only female- skippered outfit in FNL this year, Team Amoding. Maureen Amoding’s side stunned Team Blick 52-48 last week to lay down their intentions. Pop acts Jackie Chandiru and Rabadaba are lined-up to entertain what should be another capacity crowd. Today: YMCA Friday Night Lights Legends v Sudi Kasewu v Duxx Koma v Amoding Live on Urban TV, 10pm Ikong v Enabu By Charles Mutebi, The New Vision

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