By Moses Lubega Al-Sayyed
It is not unnatural to feel butterflies in stomach when standing in the blocks in a 100m final, but Monday(18-March-2019) has come too early for Jacent Nyamahunge Uganda’s 1st gold medal winner for The Abu Dhabi 2019 Games as she attempts to match her 2015 exploits in Los Angeles. Yet, in front of the world, the Ugandan had sucked the cauldron noise at Police Track and Field stadium, Dubai to a masterful finish.
The fans waited two hours later to see the most dominant sprinter on Day Three receive her due(medal) yet here, she seemed in a hurry to leave the stage. Why i asked? ‘i cant get my head over Monday’ she meant the 100m final at the same venue. She seemed imprisoned in the forecast. “I am quite nervous about Monday, it has come too soon” she remarked. ‘ I hope my good start today(17-march 2019) can last” she hoped. The Uganda Christian University (UCU) student is quite sure of what to do, but unsure of the outcome.
‘I seem green about it” Hope she doesn’t get lost in the ‘green desert’ visiting fans for the games have referred to open-mouthed ; ’’a green sports stadium, built in the middle of a desert?!”.
Her 4:00min lead in the 100m final already turned her into a familiar face, you could tell from the alluring crowd who turned heads when she appeared in the stands to support counterpart Hassan Zilakulabe. She is sought after, but that’s not how she desires it-“ I want to be known as a double gold medalist in two consecutive games” she spoke with her eyes searching for my response. After my silent pause she added; “ you think it is not possible?”
If I saw it happen in 2015, lightening will strike again I spoke to oneself. Why would doubts smear her second attempt? I wondered! The evening before the 200m final, she eavesdropped stolen voices from opposing camps-‘ She should be placed with elite sprinters, she is that good’
Her coach jokingly responded ‘she has to run like a Subaru’.
Remarkably, the desired speed for sprinters is a pale shadow in these games. An athlete is measured by there division time not 15% above or 15% less than the registered time.
For instance, Jacent registered time of 0:00:11:99 in 100m for the games. She cannot slash her mark by 15% or go lower.
It is a game of chess her coach Bashir Sekandi is thrilled to play; “ I have to find right balance and tactics to circulate within the time required”
The athlete excelled in her 100m plan . The defending champion used her inside lane to perfection, rising out of blocks steadily, taking the front, tightening her stride on the bend and containing her last kick to leap to victory. Dissimilar to other sprint meets, in special olympics, the best team that pieces together the best plan annexes.
Gold in 100m will complete her long march for twin gain in consecutive games , but her individual thirst will not be quenched, “Until one day when I get the chance to beat Ayikoru Scovia,” she says.
Jacent Nyamahunge says battles between them, always ended with one winner (Ayikoru) She may regret the task, Proscovia has turned her self into a primed athlete in the United States(US) where she is currently based. Monday may be too soon to quench her ego to have one back on Ayikoru.
100m final is an ideal battle she can win, before she thinks about winning the war ; to outshine Ayikoru. That war can be postponed after Monday’s 100m final.