From individual achievements to exceptional team accomplishments, 2021 had plenty of notable sports moments in Uganda and all over the world.
We take a look at some of them;
In Athletics, Joshua Cheptegei took the Gold in the gruelling men’s 5000m final at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium in Japan. Cheptegei, with a time of 12 minutes, 58.15, became the first Ugandan to win the event as he bagged the Olympic gold that has eluded him for so long.
In the 10,000m race, Cheptegei won silver while Jacob Kiplimo settled for bronze.
Peruth Chemutai made history by becoming Uganda’s first female Olympic gold medallist after winning the 3,000m steeplechase at the Olympic Stadium clocking a time of 9:01.45.
Uganda finished the Olympics with 4 medals in total (2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze). The international multi-sport event held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Jacob Kiplimo broke the world record at the Lisbon Half Marathon on Sunday 21st November, clocking 57:31 at the World Athletics Label road race. The world half marathon champion won by more than two minutes and took one second off the previous world record set by Kenya’s Kibiwott Kandie in Valencia last year.
Football; The Uganda Hippos, the men’s U20 football team, made their debut in the U20 AFCON competition and defied odds to grace the final but fell to Ghana 2-0. Striker Derrick Kakooza finished the tournament as the top scorer with 5 goals.
Uganda’s national football team, the Cranes, failed to clinch a place for the Africa Cup of Nations 2021 after a narrow loss to Malawi 1-0 in the final qualifier match played in Blantyre. The Cranes failed to make it a third straight appearance (after 2017 & 2019) at the continental showpiece.
Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojević bounced back as the head coach of the Uganda Cranes on a three-year contract, FUFA announced on 27 July. He replaced Johnathan McKinstry who was sacked after the Cranes failed to make it to AFCON.
The FUFA general assembly sat on August 21 in Mbale City and confirmed Eng Moses Magogo as the FUFA president unopposed for a third term since 2013 when he replaced Dr Lawrence Mulindwa and was re-elected in 2017 for another term.
For the second consecutive season, FUFA applied the 75 percent rule of the Competitions Committee Rules to declare Express FC as the 2020/21 Uganda Premier League champions. Express was top of the log with 58 points, one above second-placed URA with four games left when the government declared a second lockdown.
Express FC also won the 2021 CECAFA Kagame Cup after defeating Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi 1-0 in the final at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Martin Kizza scored the only goal of the game.
Vipers SC midfielder Bobosi Byaruhanga was named the Best male player of the year in the FUFA awards. At the same event, Fauzia Najjemba was declared the best female footballer of the year. Both players drove away brand new cars and a cash prize of 1 million Shillings.
Vipers was ruthless enroute to winning the 2021 Stanbic Uganda Cup, demolishing BUL FC 8-1 in the final.
The Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) elected Sarah Babirye Kityo as their new president. She replaced Susan Anek who had been the UNF President since 2007. Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso, the UPDF spokesperson was also elected as Vice President.
The federation appointed Fred Mugerwa Tabale as the new head coach of the She Cranes in October. He returned to the helm of the senior national netball team after nearly six years away. He was relieved of his duties in 2015.
The She Cranes claimed Silver in the 2021 Africa Netball Championships after losing to eventual winners South Africa 57-37 on November 15.
The Baby Cricket Cranes qualified for the 2022 International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup in West Indies after coming top during the African qualifiers that concluded in Kigali on October 6. The World Cup will happen from 14th January to 4th February 2022. Uganda is pitted in group B with Ireland, South Africa and India.
Former Uganda Rugby Cranes coach Robert ‘Soggy’ Seguya died at the age of 43. He succumbed to Leukaemia on Tuesday 14 December. Soggy who also captained the national team, won the Uganda Cup seven times with Heathens and played for Uganda in Rugby 7s at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2010 among other tournaments.
On the continent, Egypt’s Al Ahly defeated South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 in the final to win a record-extending 10th CAF Champions League title.
Morocco won the African Nations Championship (CHAN) for the second time by overcoming Mali’s bold challenge 2-0 in a thrilling final at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon on February 7.
South African businessman and Mamelodi Sundowns President, Patrice Motsepe, was elected unopposed as the new president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). He became the first person from an English-speaking country and only the second from Southern Africa to be elected president.
Internationally, Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League from a Kai Havertz goal over Manchester City in the final in Porto, shattering Pep Guardiola’s dream of lifting the trophy for the third time, a decade on from his last triumph.
EURO 2020: Italy scripted a 3-2 win in the final against England on penalties to clinch their second European crown in Wembley, the first since 1968.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won this year’s Formula One championship, denying Lewis Hamilton a record eighth, with a last-lap overtake to win a season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 12 amid controversy and high drama.