THERE is no loser in the 11th East African Community (EAC) Games that climax today in Burundian capital, Bujumbura, after serving its target as events establish a strong and prosperous community of East Africa.
However, it was a banner competition for Tanzania, this time around finishing with a brilliant performance. Tanzania won gold in 10km Cross Country race through Emmanuel Giniki before adding bronze in similar event through Jakline Sakilu, who finished third behind the Kenyan and Ugandan runners.
Tanzania also claimed gold in basketball after winning all three games against Burundi, Kenya and Uganda. In Netball Tanzania can either win gold or silver depending on the results of their last match against Kenya played yesterday evening.
There was also remarkable improvement in volleyball, the sport that for many years closed its doors to international competitions. Tanzania beat Uganda and Rwanda by three straight sets each, before losing to the champions Kenya by 3-1 sets in their last game.
Volleyball has been a Kenyan domain for many decades and there are many professional teams and players doing well at the regional and continental levels. What makes basketball the best performed sport in this year’s event is that Tanzania claimed the gold stainless show.
Gallant Tanzanian boys began the campaign with a 68-58 victory over Kenya and went on to post 66-58 victory over Uganda before ending their mission with 72-68 win over hosts Burundi, all games played at Military Senior Command and College courts in Bujumbura.
In Football, Tanzania defeated hosts Burundi 2-1 but lost to Kenya’s Ulinzi 1-0 in their second game. They ended their campaign with a draw against Uganda. But the most striking event in Bujumbura was Tanzanian command in athletics, the sport that Kenya rarely loses.
Giniki, an athlete from Tanzania People’s Defence Forces became the champion of the 10 Km cross-country race for men in a tightly contested race that was held within Bujumbura City. Emmanuel Giniki Gisanoda from Tanzania touched the finish line at 29’52’’ 81 minutes, followed by Chepkorom Ezekiel from Uganda at 29’57’’ 60 and Hillary Kering from Kenya finished third at 30’02’’79.
The 2017 games have once again proved that sports can be a better ambassador of peace, harmony, friendship as the event further cemented the EAC as well as creating sense of regionalism while dismantling national boundaries.
Addressing the contingents, athletes, invited guests and thousands of civilians that thronged the Military facility where the race took place, Brigadier Salvatore Nahimana who represented the Chief of Defence Forces of BDF, expressed gratitude to the organisers of the EAC Games and Cultural Event 2017 for their real commitments shown in the organisation and conduct of all the activities of the event.
Brig. Nahimana said the talents of the sportsmen as exhibited on the track and field was promising and that the future event would be surely better, not only in the region but across the globe.