David Emong is on the verge of making history as the first ever para-athlete to be picked by Uganda Sports Press Association (Uspa) for the prestigious sports personality of the year award.
Emong is shortlisted for the award alongside netball star Peace Proscovia, rugby Cranes Phillip Wokorach and former KCCA striker Geoffrey Sserunkuma for the awards ceremony set this evening at Imperial Royale.
Having been lost out to Dennis Onyango for the top award in 2016 after winning a silver medal in the T46 1500m final at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Emong went a step further.
The 28-year old struck a first ever gold for the country in the same category after winning the 2017 World Para Athletics Championship in London.
Emong raced from behind to run his personal best ever time of 3:58:36 minutes to beat arch-rival and 2016 Olympic champion Samir Nouioua of Algeria who finished second on 3:58:78 minutes.
The T46 event in which Emong features is for athletes with upper limb or limbs that are affected by limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired range of movement.
Emong will face competition from Wokorach, who led the Rugby Cranes 7s to a successful defence of the African title to qualify the 2018 Commonwealth Games and World Cup. Netball star Peace Proscovia, the 2014 winner, is in line to double up after the She Cranes won the Africa Cup played here to also make the grade for the Commonwealth Games.
Zambia-based Uganda Cranes’ striker Geoffrey Sserunkuma could make it successive winners for the country’s most popular sport. Onyango was football’s first winner in 43 years stretching back to Polly Ouma in 1974.
The four nominees for the sports personality award also won the overall awards for their respective disciplines.
Rugby Cranes 7s, Fiba Africa Zone V Club Basketball Champions City Oilers, African Cup winners Lady Cricket Cranes and She Cranes along with KCCA are in the running.
KCCA became the first Ugandan side to reach the revamped group stage of the Caf Confederation Cup plus clinching a maiden league and cup double. Sserunkuma played a crucial role in all that success before moving to Zambian outfit Buildcon. The Fiba Africa Zone Club Basketball Championships, Africa Rugby 7s, Uganda Golf Open and IAAF World Cross Country Championships are competing for best organised sports event.
2017 NILE SPECIAL USPA AWARDS’ NOMINEES
SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
David Emong (athletics), Phillip Wokorach (rugby), Geoffrey Sserunkuma (soccer), Peace Proscovia (netball)
TEAM OF THE YEAR
City Oilers (basketball), National Rugby 7s Team, Lady Cricket Cranes, She Cranes, KCCA FC
BEST ORGANISED EVENT
FIBA Zone 5 Club Championships, Africa Rugby 7s Championships, Uganda Golf Open, IAAF World Cross Country Championships
BEST RUN FEDERATION
To be decided by the executive
Male – David Emong
Boxing: Muzamir Kakande
Male – Geoffrey Sserunkuma
Female – Vanessa Edith Karungi
Christakis Fitidis and Eric Nzamwita
Male – Ronald Rugumayo
Female – Martha Babirye
Male – Kenneth Waisswa
Female – Gertrude Chandiru
Male – Fahad Ssewankambo
Female – Victoria Namuyanja
Male – Ronald Mwanje
Female – Linda Ochen
Weightlifting: Hakim Ssempereza
Female – Samiya Ayikoru
Male – Phillip Wokorach
Male – Jimmy Enabu
Female – Vilma Acheng
Male – Patrick Kawuma
Female – Maria Nakanyike
Female – Margaret Namyalo
Male – George Aporu
Ludo: Kato Charles
Female – Avice Meya
Male – Emmanuel Baguma
Female – Doreen Mbabazi
Tennis: Duncan Mugabe
Male (Badminton) – Brian Kasirye
Female (Badminton) -Husnah Kobugabe
– Isabella Blick
Female (athletics) – Josephine Lalam
Male (swimming) – Tendo Mukalazi