By Benjamin Mwibo
Uganda’s athletic team from Tokyo Olympics has been awarded millions of cash by MTN Uganda.
The telecom company awarded the stars with a cash prize, of 50 million shillings each for the gold medal and 10 million shillings for the bronze medal.
According to Kinalis Bigingo senior coach the Olympic stars MTN had gifted them with cash, as a gesture of honoring them for the achievements reached upon by the Ugandans from the Olympics in Tokyo .
“The MTN company has been and still is our main sponsor on track and field which is athletics. This has been a tremendous history remarked that Ugandans shall leave to rejoice over time the fact that in the Olympics of Uganda we have never achieved such a big number medals that totaled to four,” he said.
He made the remarks on friday at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala.
He said as the Uganda Athlete’s Federation they are proud of the achievements.
He said, ” we have got and the remaining thing is to focus and maintain the standards , Uganda should have hopes in us and expect more gold medals on condition that we are supported because currently when you look at Uganda , it is excelling in sports at an internal level”.
Peruth chemutai winner of the gold medal in the female race from Olympics in Tokyo 2021 said, “I ran and won the 3000 metre stipal because of the support given to me by the MTN telecom company. As I encourage the rest of Ugandan athletes to train hard, my next target is to win the world championship , commonwealth and Olympics 2024 to defend my title”.
According to Joshua Cheptegei winner of gold medal in 5000 metres and silver medal in 10,000 metres being the greatest athletes of Uganda’s history , ” we are received by the MTN telecom company here today to celebrate together our great performance in Tokyo from where we were able to bring home two gold medals , one silver medal and one bronze medal”.
Uganda went to Tokyo with only seven medals including the one of Steven kiprotich of 2012 Where MTN was involved.
“We only had two gold medals from athletes and the others silver and bronze but now going to Tokyo and winning two gold medals, silver and bronze we went beyond the expectations of all the other events bringing the total tally medals of Uganda to eleven,”Dominic Otuchet the president Uganda Athletic Federation said.
He noted that “As I told the nation in 2012 that between the 1972 gold medal of John AKibwa and that of Steven we had to wait for another 40 years but I promised the nation that we shall not to wait for another 40years we only waited for 9 years , the same I promised the nation as the team went to Tokyo that we shall bring home not less than two gold medals and indeed enabled us by adding us with another silver and medal.”
Otuchet commended MTN telecom company has done is really a foundation towards the athletics in Uganda especially the local ones that are being sponsored highly.
“The key event here is the Kampala marathon where MTN won itself a name because we gave it the naming rights and through this we have been able to identify so many potential athletes and nurture them too, this has also encouraged many other young people to pick interest and engage,” he said.
The awards from MTN went to three people namely Joshua Cheptegei, Steven Kiplimo and Peeuth Chemutai.