ABU DHABI, UAE. Uganda’s winning red hot form continued as it stormed into the final of the Special Olympics with a comprehensive straight-sets win over Indonesia Volley (25-20, 25-23) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre here on Tuesday.
The Ugandan side came into the semi-final as the favourite and displayed its class by winning plenty of service points and converting the spike opportunities it had through Vincent Odeke in particular. Now Uganda gets a chance to show UAE their level after the hosts needed a decisive set to edge Azerbaijan 2-1.
“It was tense against the Indonesians because they pushed us to the decider in the last meeting and we did not want to take any chances,” head coach Steven Onyait said.
But playing in the final has attracted envy elsewhere. Odeke, the main star of the team has been identified as a very high ability players and the coach concedes that he has been asked to bench him or sand bag the player to level matters. He prefers starting him on the bench tomorrow against UAE with Tony Kasumba earning the starting slot.
“We understand that these are games with unifying an important element but it is now about winning a medal,” Onyait said.
A win for Uganda would rake in the fifth gold medal adding on the four earlier accumulated. Swimmers Larry Leni and Rogger Agenorwoth (open water) as well as a double from sprinter Jacent Nyamahunge, won the first gold medals. The only silver has come from Feni while the bronze medals have been contributed by swimmers Elizabeth Nicole (50m freestyle), Gorret Nakitende (25m breaststroke) and Brian Elimu (25m breaststroke).
The games climax on Thursday with a closing ceremony at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Uganda bt Azerbaijan 2-0 (25-20, 25-23).
Final – tomorrow
United Arab Emirates vs Uganda, 10.30am