Sports

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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SCVU recall Iguma and Kabugo

Sports Club Victoria University have drawn up a plan that should overturn their 3-0 first leg defeat to DR Congo outfit Don Bosco last Saturday. To start with, Uganda’s CAF Confederations Cup representatives have decided to pardon suspended first team stars Denis Iguma and Savio Kabugo. The duo had been suspended for absconding from club duty in the aftermath of their Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) outing with the Cranes last month. “The two have apologised and will be considered for the weekend game. It’s unfortunate they were not part of the team in Lubumbashi their unacceptable behaviour,” SCVU chairman Simo Dubajic told New Vision. He added: “We had plenty to learn in the first game. African football is not easy but we can turn around that result. I hope fans come and push the team through on Sunday,” Dubajic added. It’s not all lost  The nature of the result suffered at the hands of a more experienced and well-drilled opponent would deflate any team ahead of a return leg. But that does not seem to be the case with the club’s head coach Morley Byekwaso. Byekwaso has drafted a training regime that will bring out the best from his youthful side in the next three days. “It was more of a learning experience for the team and a bulk of the players we brought here...

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Hopes fade for Treu’s 7s team: Kenya fails to shine in Wellington, take Bowl

There were more questions than answers as the Kenya Sevens rugby team touched down from Wellington, New Zealand, yesterday. The team finished with eight points, winning the Bowl title. Rugby Sevens team captain Collins Injera hands the Bowl trophy to Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni. Looking on is the team assistant coach Felix Ochieng’. PHOTO: JENNIPHER WACHIE/STANDARD Unlike before, the team’s arrival had little pomp and colour as the players filed out of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, with only two officials from the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) on hand to receive them. Not even head coach Paul Treu and his legion of foreign assistants could accompany the team home. “We are not in the business of running away from our responsibilities. We did not get the desired results and after Las Vegas, we had lots and lots of questions that we asked ourselves. But after Wellington, we are left questioning our answers,” said assistant coach Phelix Ochieng’. “What we are trying to achieve under Treu is consistency  in the way we think as we perform our duties. We are looking to build on a culture of excellence that will last longer than just a quick fix,” added Ochieng’. The team is working hard to increase their consistency and reliability and help their sponsors, Kenya Airways, widen their network with aircraft that provide durability and fuel efficiency. It is a responsibility Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni threw at the boys. “The dreamliners will arrive in the first week of April so I have one request as you go to Tokyo – remember we are delivering the dream so get me a dreamliner out of yourselves.” he said. Inconsistencies among the players during the fourth and fifth legs of the IRB World Series cost the team. Some players who excelled in Las Vegas failed to replicate the same form in Wellington but chairman Mwangi Muthee is adamant there’s still hope. Muthee asked for more time, saying: “I know we have not lived up to your expectations but I would like to assure you that it’s just a matter of time before the boys bring the trophy home

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