Peruth Chemutai became the first Ugandan woman to win an Olympic medal as she took gold in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase on day 12 of the Tokyo Games.

The 22-year-old Ugandan timed 9min 01.45sec at the Olympic Stadium, outsprinting American Courtney Frerichs with 250 metres to go to win comfortably.

Frerichs claimed silver in 9:04.79 with Kenyan Hyvin Kiyeng taking bronze (9:05.39).

“After my fifth place at the world championships in Doha, I knew a medal would be possible if I run a good race,” said Chemutai.

Chemutai definitely made Uganda proud, and will be remembered as the first woman to win Olympic gold.

 

Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo won silver and bronze medals respectively for Uganda in the men’s 10,000m final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Cheptegei clocked a Season Best 27:43.63 ahead of Kiplimo who clocked 27:43.88 in the epic event at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Cheptegei, the world record holder, was widely expected to win gold. However, he was upset by Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega who finished ahead by a matter of microseconds.

Cheptegei said he was experiencing mixed emotions.

“I have two feelings. One is that I’m very happy to have won an Olympic silver medal today,” he told reporters. “But the other side of me is really not satisfied with the result because I came here expecting to win a gold.”

Stephen Kissa acted as the early pacemaker before dropping out a little over halfway through the race.

“We had a plan for me to go ahead to make it a fast race,” Kissa told reporters. “I thought they were going to follow me but when I looked round they were not there.”

Cheptegei led briefly before dropping back into the pack and Barega seized his chance, moving among the leaders in the last third of the race before hitting the front with a surge on the last lap to secure his surprise victory.

 

The Japan 2020 Olympics had a beautiful opening ceremony, despite the absence of spectators due to Covid-19 prevention measures. 

There were individual performances by various athletes and singers, beautiful lights posted up in the sky, and of course, the big moment with Naome Osaka lighting up the Olympic Cauldron.

However, one of the best parts in the 4 hour event was the Parade of Nations, where all the participating countries had their team members walk out onto the field in an introduction to the world.

Due to the massive divergence in culture across the globe, there were so many different styles on display, each different from the last.

We took photos of the best, and here they are, starting with those from our beloved country Uganda:

From other countries:

 

Tennis superstar Naome Osaka lit the Olympic Cauldron during the opening ceremony today, Friday 23rd July, to flag off the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan.

The first two torchbearers were former Olympic athletes Tadahiro Nomura and Saori Yoshida, who passed it off to baseball legends Shigeo Nagashima, Sadaharu Oh and Hideki Matsui. 

Hiroki Ohashi and Junko Kitagawa, a doctor and a nurse, carried the flame to seven-time Paralympian and wheelchair marathoner Wakako Tsuchida, who was the first Japanese athlete to win gold in both Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. 

The Paralympian passed the flame to six young athletes from middle and high schools from regions devastated by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. They had the honor of passing the torch to Osaka. 

“Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life,” she tweeted. “I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness. love you guys thank you.”

 

Julius Ssekitoleko, the Ugandan weightlifter who disappeared from the team hotel last week, has been found.

“Today, the man was found in Mie prefecture with no injuries and no involvement in any crime,” an Osaka police official said.

“He carried his own ID and identified himself. It is not certain to whom we should send the man – the team or the embassy.”

The alarm was raised on Friday after Ssekitoleko failed to show up for a coronavirus test and was not in his hotel room.

The 20-year-old had recently found out he would not be able to compete at the Tokyo Games, which open on Friday, because of a quota system.

A note was found in his room requesting his belongings be sent to his family in Uganda, according to officials in Izumisano city in Osaka prefecture, where the team were training.

Police said Ssekitoleko had travelled to Nagoya in central Japan and then to nearby Gifu prefecture, before moving south to Mie. He was found 170km (105 miles) east of his host town.

Misoshiru lubaga giveaway

On Monday 12th July, Misoshiru Family came to the aid of teachers in Lubaga, a division of Kampala city.

The team, headed by manager Jjuuko Ronald, gave out food to 50 teachers from 5 schools in Lubaga North, as a way to help them get through this difficult time.

Uganda is under a 42-day lockdown, during which various people are struggling to put food on the table.

 

The giveaway was held at Lungujja in one of the school compounds, with the teachers invited in phases to avoid violating the Covid SOPs.

 

Mr Jjuko said Misohiru Family was very happy to be able to contribute to society by giving back to the teachers, who are a crucial foundation for the country’s development.  

 

Local officials are searching for a Ugandan athlete who went missing in western Japan on Friday in a case raising questions over Japanese organizers’ oversight of  Olympic  participants amid local  coronavirus concerns .

The missing 20-year-old man was training as part of the nine-member Ugandan team in Izumisano, Osaka prefecture, city officials said.

Teammates realized the athlete was absent around noon Friday when his saliva test sample was not delivered and they found his hotel room empty, city officials said. There was no training Friday morning and he was last seen in his room in the early hours of Friday.

After failing to find him inside the hotel, officials notified police for a broader search. There was no 24-hour monitoring at the hotel, and exactly when or how he got out of the hotel was unknown, officials said.

Local officials are searching for a Ugandan athlete who went missing in western Japan on Friday in a case raising questions over Japanese organizers’ oversight of  Olympic  participants amid local  coronavirus concerns .

The missing 20-year-old man was training as part of the nine-member Ugandan team in Izumisano, Osaka prefecture, city officials said.

Teammates realized the athlete was absent around noon Friday when his saliva test sample was not delivered and they found his hotel room empty, city officials said. There was no training Friday morning and he was last seen in his room in the early hours of Friday.

After failing to find him inside the hotel, officials notified police for a broader search. There was no 24-hour monitoring at the hotel, and exactly when or how he got out of the hotel was unknown, officials said.

 

On their arrival on June 19 at Narita International Airport, a member of the team tested positive and was quarantined there, while the remaining eight members were allowed to travel more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) on a chartered bus to Izumisano, their pre-Olympics camp in the western prefecture of Osaka.

Days later, a second member of the team from East Africa tested positive for the virus, forcing seven town officials and drivers who had close contact with the team to self-isolate. Health officials said both infected Ugandans had the delta variant.

Both team members have since ended their quarantine requirement and the team has been training since July 7.

Olympics organizers are banning all spectators from the games this year after Japan declared a state of emergency that is meant to curb a wave of new Covid-19 infections.

The state of emergency will begin Monday and run through August 22, while the games are scheduled from July 23 to August 8.

Organizers had already banned international spectators from attending and set a cap on domestic crowds at 50% of capacity, or up to 10,000 people.

There’s immense pressure to curb the spread of the virus at the games, protecting both athletes and neighboring regions.

More than 11,000 competitors are expected to travel to Japan to compete, along with thousands of officials and staff also set to attend.

The Uganda Olympics team arrived in Japan on 20th June.

The eight member team was warmly received by officials in Japan.

 

However, a member of the team later tested positive and was put in isolation. 

The rest of the team traveled ahead to their training base in Osaka, where they put themselves in quarantine at their hotel until July 3.

King Kouki Ray, age 12, is a student at a junior school in Shibuya. Back in April, he graduated from elementary school at a simple ceremony at the school gym. He is very happy with how his school life is going.

 

 

The basic school system in Japan is composed of elementary school (lasting six years), middle school (three years), high school (three years), and university (four years). Education is compulsory only for the nine years of elementary and middle school, but 98.8% of students go on to high school.

Japanese children enter the first grade of elementary school in the April after their sixth birthday. There are around 30 to 40 students in a typical elementary school class. The subjects they study include Japanese, mathematics, science, social studies, music, crafts, physical education, and home economics.

Students also learn traditional Japanese arts like Shodo (calligraphy) and haiku. Shodo involves dipping a brush in ink and using it to write kanji (characters that are used in several East Asian countries and have their own meanings) and kana (phonetic characters derived from kanji) in an artistic style.

There are many school events during the year, such as sports day when students compete in events like tug-of-war and relay races, excursions to historical sites, and arts and culture festivals featuring dancing and other performances by children. Students in the highest grades of elementary, middle, and high schools also take trips lasting up to several days to culturally important cities like Kyoto and Nara, ski resorts, or other places.

King Kouki Ray, taking part in his school’s track and field events.

There may be other good places to go to school, but for King Kouki, there’s no place like home.