Sports

Mandalia, Yusufali win January snooker titles

Suman Mandalia and Abbas Yusufali put up a formidable display to win the January Snooker Mug Division A and B titles respectively at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) over the weekend. It was all but joy for Mandalia, who was for the first time crowned the Division A king at the R & K Tracking Ltd sponsored tournament. Mandalia maintained his fine form to overcome a stiff challenge from Nikhil Sangani before beating him 2-0 in a thrilling best of three frames final. Both Mandalia and Sangani entered the tournament as nonfavourites but caused major upsets on Friday when they ousted last year’s double champions Kalpesh Lavingia and Akil Akberali by 2-1 victories respectively. “I’m happy to win my first title here, I faced a good opponent, who gave me a lot of challenges,” Mandalia said afterwards. Sangani told the ‘Daily News’: “My opponent is good and he deserves the win. I did not put up much resistance like the one I did against Akberali in the semi-final that earned me my first final.” Youngster Abbas became the first Division B player to win back-to-back the title after overcoming his youthful opponent Hozefa Hassan 2-0. He was the last player to win the Division B monthly event in October, last year, in his maiden appearance. His opponent Hassan, who is the club’s new member, was playing his first tournament and final. “It was a very good game, probably tougher than my first final. My opponent is good and is my best friend. It was a tough game and in such a tournament you have to do everything to win,” Abbas said. The winners were awarded trophies by the chief guest, DGC and National Sports Council (NSC) chairman Dioniz Malinzi, at a colourful ceremony witnessed by the tournament’s sponsor Rupesh Soni. Snooker captain Firoz Yusufali thanked all the players and the sponsor for making the tournament a success. “This is the last tournament for the incumbent leadership before general election is held later this month. We had a very good year in office thanks to the players and sponsors who came to support my committee,” he said. He also commended the only lady in the section, secretary Fatema Yusufali, he described as a very hard working woman who cooperated closely with him and committee. “I want to thank my secretary Fatema, who also happens to be my wife…she did a wonderful job and sometimes I feel like she is the captain instead of me,” said Firoz.

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We won’t take chances in Bujumbura – AS Kigali coach

AS Kigali have plenty of work to do in Bujumbura when they face Burundian Cup winners, Academie Tchite in their Caf Confederation Cup second leg this weekend. Coach Andrew Gasambungo has said as the team prepares to defend the 1-0 first leg win. Striker Bodo Ndikumana #10, is mobbed by his teammates after scoring the only goal of the game as AS Kigali beat Academie Tchite of Burundi in the first leg on Saturday. Timothy Kisambira. Bodo Ndikumana’s strike gave AS Kigali a first leg 1-0 win at Stade de Kigali on Saturday. “Winning the game gives us the cushion, but we can’t afford to start thinking ahead of ourselves, it’s a very narrow lead,” Gasambungo said of the winners of the Rwanda Peace Cup last season. AS Kigali are making a second continental appearance since 2001 when the team then called Les Citadens didn’t go passed the qualifying round. The coach observed that the win in the first leg means the team goes to Bujumbura with something to defend in the second leg. Gasambungo noted that he hopes conditions in Burundi will allow his team to do what they “need to do” to advance to the first round. AS Kigali need a draw to progress to the next round where they will face Alhly Shandy of Sudan. “We have to go to Bujumbura and work 10 times harder than we did here in order to win that game and am sure my side will progress to the next round,” he stated. His counterpart of Academie Tchite, Jimmy Ndizeye conceded defeat, adding that his side lost to a better team in the first leg. “We gave them too much freedom, especially in the central midfield where we allowed them to manoeuvre the ball with too much ease,” Ndizeye admitted. He added: “AS Kigali front players had more pace than our defenders, you could see that especially towards the end of the match.” Ndizeye however, warned that the second leg won’t be a walk in the park for As Kigali. “I think we can overturn the score and reach to the next round. I am sure we will get a win at home, so it is not over yet,” added Ndizeye, a former SC Kiyovu and Les Citadens player. The two teams will square-off in the second leg in the Burundi capital this Sunday, with AS Kigali looking the favourites to progress, thanks to their one-goal advantage. By Bonnie Mugabe, The New Times

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Rwanda Volley-ball team depart for World Cup qualifiers

Rwanda volleyball national team players are upbeat as they go into the 2014 FIVB World Cup qualifiers slated for February 12 to 18 in Cameroon. National team’s Flavien Ndamukunda #12, goes up for a spike against Rayon Sports during Friday’s build-up match, which Bitok’s team won 3-0. Timothy Kisambira. The team was scheduled to leave the country by today morning. The 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championships will be staged in Poland from August 30 through September 21. Rwanda are in Group One alongside Algeria, Nigeria, Gabon and hosts Cameroon. They will start their campaign against Algeria on Thursday, followed with Cameroon the next day before ending with match-ups against Gabon and Nigeria on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Right attacker Olivier Ntagengwa, who was named the national league Most Valuable player for last season, was the first to echo the sentiments of his head coach Paul Bitok, saying that they have a good chance to defy odds against some of the top teams on the continent. “We need to prove that we didn’t reach this stage by chance but rather through hard work, determination and belief. I think we deserve to be where we are and if we deserve it, then it means have the potential to even do better,” Ntagengwa said on Saturday. “We are there because we have what it takes to be there, we have good players, and we have everything we need to challenge on a high level, who knows we may even qualify for the World Championships,” added the National University of Rwanda player. Two other most senior players on the team including right attacker, Flavien Ndamukunda and centre Pierre Kwizera Marshal, also echoed the same message. Final team: Nelson Murangwa, Yakan Guma Lawrence, Flavien Ndamukunda , Theogene Tuyishime, Fred Musoni, Pierre Kwizera Marchal, Bosco Mutabazi, Hervé Kagimbura, Theodore Muyango Hyango, Olivier Ntagengwa, Christophe Mukunzi, Amiable Mutuyimana. Officials: Paul Bitok, (head coach), Jean-Marie Nsengiyumva, (assistant coach), Julius Kagarama (head of delegation), Charles Munyambora (team doctor) and Christian Hatumamina (team manager). By Peter Kamasa, The New Times

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We were denied a clear goal, says Police coach

Police FC coach Sam Ssimbwa has said his team was unlucky in their 1-0 defeat against rivals APR at Stade de Kigali on Sunday. Police Football Club head coach, Sam Ssimbwa Ssimbwa said he believes the game would have ended in a draw because his team was denied a genuine goal. “That was a genuine goal, but we don’t have anything to do about it,” Ssimbwa said in reference to a touch line clearance by  APR’s defender Emery Bayisenge. Bayisenge’s goal line clearance left Ssimbwa fuming on the touchline, claiming the ball had crossed the line, but the referee and his assistant didn’t see it that way. “Looking at the performance, it is disappointing that we didn’t get the result that I think we deserved, but if we can take this performance into the next nine games. We’re going to get a lot of points,” stated the former Ugandan international. Ssimbwa’s team went into the game in third place, six points behind second-placed APR on the league table. Police dominated the opening 45 minutes but were frustrated by a solid APR backline led by Emery Bayisenge who even cleared one attempt off the line. The young Rwandan international defender missed APR’s last league game against AS Kigali through suspension and on his return, he proved to be the best defender as he made crucial saves. Police conceded a 58th-minute Patrick Sibomana goal, after Rwanda’s U20 national team striker converted a well coordinated move that involved Andrew Buteera and Charles Tibingana. “I have lost a battle but the war is still on. We wanted to win but this is football, we did all we could but failed to find the net,” Ssimbwa said before adding: The win helped APR return to the top of the league table with 40 points, three points ahead of Rayon Sports, who dropped to second but have a game in hand. Espoir took advantage to move into third place with 32 points following their 1-1 draw against SC Kiyovu at Mumene stadium, while Police and AS Kigali drop to fourth and fifth position respectively with 31 points each. Police have won nine, and lost four of their 17 league matches played so far. Rayon Sports and AS Kigali, who are featuring in Africa club championships, will play on February 19 and 20 against Amagaju and Marines, respectively. Sunday APR 1-0 Police SC Kiyovu 1-1 Espoir Musanze 2-2 AS Muhanga Etincelles 1-3 Esperance Mukura 1-1 Gicumbi By Bonnie Mugabe, The New Times

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Jas Mangat to skip season opener

National champion Jas Mangat’s challengers can take advantage of his absence in the Mbarara Rally scheduled for February 28-March 2, to take an early lead in the 2014 National Rally Championship. Jas Mangat Mangat who has won back-to-back national championships told New Vision yesterday that he would start his season later on in March. “We have some commitments so Mbarara Rally is out of our 2014 plan which we are still making. We shall start our season in March. I will be in position to tell you which championship we shall compete in when our plan is done,” Mangat stated. The Mbarara route is complete with scrutineering of cars set for February 28 in Masaka ahead of the super special stage at Misaali in the same district the next day. After the super special stage cars will head to Mbarara for a night stop and will on March 2, tackle four sections in Mbarara and Kiruhura districts in the final leg. Title contenders  Duncan Mubiru, Ronald Ssebuguzi, Ponsiano Lwakataka, Nasser Mutebi, Peter Kakaire, Edson Mungyereza, Godfrey Lubega, Christakis Fitidis, Arthur Blick, Omar Mayanja and Wycliff Bukenya are expected to be top contenders for the national title. By Douglas Mazune, The New Vision

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World Cross-country attracts record entries

After Stephen Kiprotich striking Olympic and World Championship gold, Uganda is setting even more records. Uganda’s latest sports feat is a new record in the number of entries for the World University Cross-country Championships. Uganda will host the 19th edition of the race in Entebbe on March 22. By yesterday 30 countries had confirmed participation beating Germany which had the previous record of 25 countries in 2000. The last edition of the biennial meet in Poland attracted 23 nations. The surge in numbers largely has to do with the increased participation of African universities. Of the 30 countries that have so far confirmed, 17 are from Africa. An extension of the deadline to February 22 was also a factor. Countries are by the deadline expected to have submitted their entries by name, individual athlete details plus team itineraries. “This number is a vote of confidence not only on Uganda but also the organisers. We are really appreciative and also promise to do our best,” said head of the championship secretariat Patrick Ssebuliba. First established in 1968 as a men’s only event, a women’s race was added in 1976 and the world university body FISU gave the event its official sanctioning two years later. The program of each championship consists of a men’s and women’s race. By James Bakama, The New Vision

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Heathens gracious in defeat to Kobs

Kobs flavoured their first Nile Special Premier Rugby League title with the Lion’s Cup success, drawing compliments from the most unlikely of sources last weekend. The new champions who beat MTN Heathens in the first round at Legends Club, followed it up with a hard fought 14-13 win over the Kyadondo side on Saturday to wrap up the Lions Cup – a side contest between the two traditional giants within the league. With the Lions Cup also gone, Heathens captain Michael Wokorach whose side had won the league five consecutive times was gracious in defeat. “Kobs had a better game in the first half. We changed the game in the second half and took the lead but they fought back and won,” Wokorach stated in a post-match interview. In great show of sportsmanship a day later, Wokorach posted a congratulatory message on the Kobs’ facebook page. “No love lost. Congratulations gentlemen and thanks for the great game yesterday,” Wokorach posted a message which was liked by 56 fans and fellow players who acknowledged his show of maturity and sportsmanship. How Kobs sealed the Lions Cup  Unfazed by the Kyadondo crowd, Kobs were in ‘attack mode’ right from the first whistle, taking charge of game which paid off with a penalty taken by Joseph Aredo. Then Ronald Musajja scored a try for Kobs to take an 8-0 lead inside 10 minutes. Heathens’ Phillip Wokorach replied with two successive penalties for the hosts to cut down the deficit to 8-6 by halftime. After recess Arendo, who was eventually named man-of-the-match, stretched the lead to 11-6 with another penalty. With less than 10 minutes to the end Heathens turned tables when Assuman Mugerwa made a try and Wokorach followed it up with a conversion for a 13-11 lead which brought the Kyadondo crowd back to life

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