The year 2018 has had many major sporting spectacles and has been a pretty exciting year for sports in Uganda.
From the Uganda Cranes again qualifying for the AFCON, Ugandan Rugby scaling new heights to individual athletes like Joshua Cheptegei and many others making the country proud with their accolades at national and international level.
Here’s the list of the top 10 Ugandan sports men in 2018. These athletes have made the country proud with their spectacular performances.
Another year and another flurry of milestones for the Uganda Cranes team captain Denis Onyango. He led Uganda Cranes team to great heights in the year 2017. The Cranes finished the year on a high as the team qualified for back to back AFCON tournaments while also being nominated for African team of the year.
Apart from leading the team to a successful year, the charismatic leader and shot stopper is yet to concede a goal in the AFCON qualifiers, has been shortlisted among the top 10 African football players of the year and is in contention to win the African player of the year award.
It has been a successful year for Joshua Cheptegei as he established himself among the elites of track and field athletics.
After staggering to the finish line at the 2017 Cross country championships in Kampala, the long distance runner from Kapchorwa dusted himslef up to win double gold in both the 5000 metres and 10,000 metres at the 2018 Commonwealth games in Gold Coast Australia.
He then went on to break the seven year old world record time over 15 kms when he ran for 41:05 minutes at the Seven Hills race in Nijmegen, Netherlands. However, the road has not been smooth for Cheptegei as he has had to contend with injury problems and a life threatening accident he suffered last week.
DAN ‘MZEE’ SSERUNKUMA
The diminutive Vipers SC striker’s stock has continued to grow both locally and in the region. He joined Vipers in the January transfer window from Express FC and has gone on to grow from strength to strength.
His goals helped the Venoms win the Uganda Premier League despite finishing the first round of the league lying 5th as well as reach the Uganda Cup finals where they lost to KCCA. Despite being overlooked for the FUFA male player of the year award, Sserunkuuma finished the league as top scorer with 18 goals and has continued from where he stopped this season scoring six goals so far in 11 games
The City Oilers captain Jimmy Enabu added another important accolade to his already decorated career by helping City Oilers clinch their sixth straight National Basketball league title defeating Betway Power in the play offs.
The City Oilers and Uganda Silverbacks point guard was mesmerizing for the Oilers throughout the season and was equally important for the Silverbacks despite failing to qualify for the FIBA world Cup, Enabu was ranked second among the top performers at the regional qualifiers scoring 54 points in three matches.
The 21-year-old who was branded ‘One to Watch’ in 2017 seems to have moved into the big time after his brilliant performances in the Rugby 7’s for both club and country. He was part of the Uganda Rugby Cranes squad that took part in this year’s Rugby Sevens World cup in USA and despite Uganda having a bad tournament, he impressed as an individual.
Okia crossed the line eight times in six matches at the Dubai Sevens, the joint score with all-time record try scorer Dan Norton as Uganda caused major upsets at the tournament including beating Russia 17-12 with Okia scoring twice.
He was part of the Uganda rugby Sevens team that represented the country at the Commonwealth Games in Australia where they finished third in pool D. He later helped the country finish third at the 2018 Victoria Falls sevens tournament in Zimbabwe.
He won the Safari Sevens tournament in Kenya as part of the Samurai team and was voted MVP at the final round of the Kenyan national sevens championship with his club Harlequins defeated at the finals.
The Ugandan golf star made the country proud in 2018, when he became the second amateur golfer to win three Uganda Amateur gold championships. The golfing fraternity was left gasping for its breath after Otile saved the country’s blushes by denying Kenyans to win the 77th Castle Lite Uganda Amateur Golf Open title at the par-71 Entebbe course in September.
From 2018 on-wards he will be described as ‘The goal Hero’. And well there’s no better way to describe the KCCA striker. He was signed in 2016 after leading the scoring chats for Maroons in the big league.
With Geofrrey Sserunkuma, Derrick Nsibambi and later Shaban Muhammad at Lugogo, Kaddu had to first wait to get regular playing time and in 2018 he has shown signs of being that striker the country has dreaded since Majidu Musisi.
He was the top scorer in the Uganda Cup this year as KCCA won the trophy and scored the only goal as the Cranes secured promotion to next year’s AFCON with a game to spare. He is also the only player to score a hatrick so far in the Uganda Premier league this season.
Umar Sematta is the current World Boxing Council Muay Thai Super Middleweight International Champion, a title he has held since June 14, 2013.
He is referred to as ‘THE PAIN” and boy has he caused alot of pain. Ask Golola Moses for clarity. Golola vs Sematta was the biggest kick boxing fight Uganda has ever witnessed and Sematta was all over the self-proclaimed ‘Hot Temper’ Golola, beating him and dethroning him as the Ugandan Champion.
ARTHUR BLICK JNR
The ever green Arthur blick has had another blistering year in his motorsport career. Despite failing to put up a title fight in the rallying discipline, Blick Juinior added to his legendary motorcross career by winning his 13 MX national Championship and defending his East African Motorcross championship.
The Motorcross legend however, hung up his boots this season but his legacy will forever remain in the hearts of motorcross enthusiasts but hopefully his children will fill their father’s footsteps.
Another youngster who has set the storm in the Uganda’s sporting disciplines. The young KCCA midfielder has had quite a year in the yellow jersey that culminated in his first national team call up.
At just 20, Okello’s influence and stature at the club has already led to legendary claims by sections of fans. He was instrumental in the club’s ascendance to the CAF Champions League group stages and their spirited fight against some of the continent’s big boys.
The youngster is being monitored by Spanish giants Barcelona and Dutch side FC Ajax. He was also voted the FUFA Uganda Cup MVP, The Fans player of the year based in Uganda and was named as part of the FUFA XI.