Uganda’s Ndejje University put on a solid display across all the major sports disciplines on their way to be crowned the overall winners of the 10th edition Eastern University Games that were hosted at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Ndejje University finished top of the standings with an impressive haul of 94 medals to retain their title after their 2014 triumph. This was 36 gold, 28 silver and 30 bronze medals during the six day event that attracted 4,000 athletes from 43 universities based in the Eastern Africa region.
Their win was an epitome of the dominance asserted by Ugandan Universities once more as they scooped four out of the top five positions in the medal standings.
Kyambogo University finished second with a total of 17 gold, five silver and two bronze medals. Kenyatta University was Kenya’s best placed institution at third position with 56 medals of 15 gold, 20 silver and 21 bronze medals.
Uganda Christian University came in fourth place after successfully defending both men’s and women’s basketball titles with nine gold, eight silver and 14 bronze medals.
Kampala University piped United States International University –Africa to fifth spot on the final day following their 2-1 win in men’s football over Zanzibar University to finish on eight gold, nine silver and 11 bronze medals.
USIU-A’s tally was seven gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze complete the top five teams. Kibabii University, University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya and Catholic University of Eastern Africa all from Kenya completed the top 10 in the standings.
Hosts JKUAT put on a much improved performance to be ranked 11th with four gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze after finishing 19th in 2014.
Highs and lows
The games had its highs and lows which Sports News Arena was able to establish. The organizers were caught in a dilemma on the first day of competition as they failed to anticipate the graduation ceremony to be held by co-hosts Kenyatta University on December 16 would interfere with their programme.
This forced a crash programme for sports with high number of registered number of teams like football. Moreover, the overly extended opening ceremony before the games officially kicked off delayed the start of the matches further and some had to be played till very late where vision was poor.
Secondly, there was general concern about information flow throughout the games. There were cases of absentee referees and officials left in charge of coordinating games thus raising a red flag by some of the participating teams as it was difficult to establish what ideally would be crystal clear facts like pool pairing and fixtures allocation.
Some teams in volleyball for instance had played two group matches while others had yet to touch the ball on the second day of competition.
The quality of the pitches was also wanting for an event of such magnitude especially in rugby where players had to bear the brunt of not only the highly intense contact sport but also a hard surface pitch and as a result injuries were frequent.
On the flipside, the organizers did a splendid job to ensure they would not fall behind schedule eventually by pushing some games to USIU-A and Kenyatta University in order to fast track the process.
The purpose of the games was achieved as there were elements of unity and sportsmanship regardless of the outcomes of the matches.
During the closing ceremony on Tuesday evening, President of Eastern Africa University Sports Federation Cyriaco Kabagambe announced that the 11th edition of the biennial games would be held at University of Dodoma, Tanzania in 2018.
He urged the teams to prepare adequately to make the games more competitive.
Football, men: 1.Kampala University, 2. Zanzibar University, 3. Makerere University Business School; Women: 1. Masinde Muliro University, 2. Kyambogo University, 3. JKUAT.
Volleyball, men: 1.Kenyatta University, 2. St.Paul’s University, 3. UCU; Women: 1. Ndejje University, 2. Kenyatta University, 3. St. Paul’s University.
Basketball, men: !. UCU, 2. Ndejje University, 3. Strathmore University; Women: 1.UCU, 2.Strathmore University, 3. Kenyatta University.
Hockey, men: 1. Kenyatta University, 2. JKUAT, 3. USIU-A; Women: 1. Strathmore University, 2. USIU-A, 3. Kenyatta University.
Rugby 7’s: 1. Strathmore University, 2. Kyambogo University, 3. Kenyatta University.
Handball, men: 1.Strathmore University, 2. Ndejje University, 3. MKU; Women: 1. Ndejje University, 2. MKU, 3. Kampala University.
Chess, men: 1. Kyambogo University, 2. MUBS, 3. Mbarara University; Women: 1. UoN, 2. MUBS, 3. UCU.