By Simon Abaho
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has rewarded each of the three Ugandan medalists who won medals during the just concluded Olympics games in Tokyo with a brand new vehicle.
Uganda bagged two gold medals thanks to Peruth Chemutai in the women’s 3000m steeplechase race and world 5000m record holder, Joshua Cheptegei who triumphed in the men’s 5,000m finals.
Cheptegei also won a bronze medal whereas Jacob Kiplimo won bronze in the men’s 1000 meters as Uganda finished 37th overall out of 206 nations and second in Africa out of 54 countries, only below Kenya during the games that officially ended on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the president welcomed the country’s heroes that he hosted at a function held at the Kololo Independence grounds and rewarded them.
“For those who have won Olympics medals and since I am a happy man now, I will give each one of them a vehicle,” Museveni said on Thursday.
He also promised to build houses for each of the gold medalists’ parents as a reward for carrying the country’s flag high.
“ I will build houses for parents of the gold medal people. I, therefore, congratulate Cheptegei, Chemutai and Kiplimo for performing well in Olympics games.”
Speaking at the same function, the State Minister for Sports, Denis Hamson Obua who also led the delegation to Tokyo said the team made historical strides that will never fade.
He also hailed President Museveni and the First Lady who also doubles as the Education and Sports Minister Janet Museveni for the support to the team.
“In my language, we have a saying that if a cow delivers during your tenure as a herdsman, it is you to partake of the milk. The four medals were not only delivered during your time but you took a centre stage in our preparation and we salute you for this. As the battle group commander for team Uganda, we followed your guidance to the dot,” Obua said.
He added that whereas many Ugandans didn’t bring home medals, they qualified for finals, a thing he said shows a brighter future for the country.
Early this week, the Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola promised to fast-track the promotion of Cheptegei and Chemutai who are both police officers.
“I must say I am extremely delighted about the spectacular performance of our athletes. The medals helped to put our country high above countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, and Ethiopia among others,” Ochola said.
“I want to personally thank IP Joshua Cheptegei who pulled off two incredible performances to become a double medalist and Special Police Constable Peruth Chemutai who made history to become the first female police athlete to win gold medal. I am going to fast-track the promotions of the athletes with the Police Authority and the Police Council.”
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