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Uganda Sends 10 Athletes for All Africa Paralympic Games

The 10 athletes include eight males and two females. They include 2016 Paralympics T46 1,500m silver medalist David Emong, Abdul Karim Lubega, Richard Ocira, Fred Masisa, Sam Mubaje, Wilfred Ocen, Al Bashir Bwaga, Alex Wilson Legu, Peace Oroma and Monica Ilalo. Ssenkungu says that if such a number of athletes qualify, then it will be good progress, considering that Emong was the only athlete who participated in the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Some team Uganda members take selfies at the departures section at Entebbe Airport.

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Uganda has sent ten athletes to the inaugural All Africa Paralympics Games. The games that started yesterday will climax on February 29, in Rabat, Morocco.  Uganda's team left on Monday afternoon aboard Emirates Air.

The 10 athletes are among the 1,200 people expected to compete in the Games that were mooted in 2018.  It is seen as an event that would become an official multi-sport event held every four years ahead of the Paralympic Games.    

Some of the events at the games will act as qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. However, Uganda is fielding athletes in only athletics, mainly track and field events including the short races of 100 metres, 200 metres, javelin and long jump.  

The 10 athletes include eight males and two females. They include 2016 Paralympics T46 1,500m silver medalist David Emong, Abdul Karim Lubega, Richard Ocira, Fred Masisa, Sam Mubaje, Wilfred Ocen,  Al Bashir Bwaga, Alex Wilson Legu, Peace Oroma and Monica Ilalo.

They are accompanied by six government and technical officials including the Coach Jameson Ssenkungu and the Senior Administrative Secretary of National Council of Sports, Ivan Mugowa. 

Ssenkungu told Uganda Radio Network that he is optimistic that 5-7 of the athletes will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympics due to take place in August.

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Mugowa, who is also the Head of the delegation added that the government has funded 100 per cent of the delegation's budget including the purchase of air tickets.

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The Games come a month after the initial dates of January 26 to 31 were changed. The delay was because Morocco changed its sports minister and informed the Africa Paralympic Committee that it had cancelled the event.    

However, Ssekungu says that the change in dates affected the preparation of the team and therefore the players were summoned last week at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole for a 5-day training.     

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