Kenya Defence Force (KDF) dominated the 10th edition of the EAC Military Games and Cultural Event which climaxed on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 in Kigali.
Kenya emerged the winner following her winning excellence in cross country, handball and football disciplines respectively.
The Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) handball team, Ulinzi, bagged gold unbeaten as they edged Rwanda 32-26 points in their final adding to their previous wins over Uganda and Tanzania earlier in the tournament.
RDF’s Gilbert Mutuyimana was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the handball tournament, while Ulinzi’s Edwin Chiti of Ulinzi was named the best goalkeeper and his teammate, Frank Kiplagat, the tournament’s top scorer.
The hosts, Rwanda settled for a bronze medal as they failed to retain the title while Uganda claimed silver in the handball tournament.
The gold medal lifted by Ulinzi handball team adds to their clinical finish of their athletics team who swept all medals in men and women’s titles in the 10km-Cross Country Race for both women and men.
In the Men’s race, Emmanuel Kipsanga touched the finish line in a time of 27:15:68 minutes, followed by Franklin Ocelel 27:16:10 and Superintendent Stephen Arita finished third at 27:17:15.
Nelson Fabiano of Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces was 6th, Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) athlete Alex Chesakit was 7th and the Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) runner, Joseph Nzirorera came in the 8th position.
Kenya was the best team in the male category followed by Uganda. Rwanda came third and Tanzania finished fourth in general rankings. Out of 24 male athletes, 21 finished the race.
In the women’s race, it was an all-Kenyan affair as Sheila Chepkiryi clocked 31:17:18 minutes to win. Her fellow Kenyan runners Goyceline Chepkosgei and Judith Chemutai came second and third respectively.
In the overall performance, in the Women’s race, Kenya took the 1st position, Uganda (2nd), Tanzania (3rd), and Rwanda (4th).
In basketball, the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) basketball retained the title while Kenya won silver with Uganda settling for bronze medal slots after defeating Tanzania 73-57 in the last game on Tuesday.
Kenyan William Ochieng was the best defender, his teammate Eric Mutolo was named the top scorer of the tournament and Rwanda’s Steven Hagumintwali was the Most Valued Player.
In Netball, Tanzania claimed gold unbeaten in all their matches against Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya respectively. Uganda beat Kenya 55-43 to win silver medal as Rwanda finished fourth.
Uganda’s’ Annet Nichiwu was named the top scorer of the tournament, while Rwanda Defense Force Netballer Shallotte Umugwaneza was the best defender. Tanzanian’s Nassra Suleiman was named the Most Valuable Player.
In football, KDF’s Ulinzi Stars bagged gold on goal difference edging APR Fc who were bidding to retain the title. Going into the last game against Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces (TPDF), APR Fc needed to win by over a 2-goal margin to be able to beat Ulinzi Stars who on Tuesday had edged UPDF 2-0 to complicate APR’s mathematical title calculations.
The Gilbert Kanyankole’s side managed a 1-0 win courtesy of a first header from Faustin Usengimana in the 35th minute.
Both Ulinzi Stars and APR Fc finished the tournament tied on 6 points and same goal difference but the Kenyan side claimed gold medal following the head to head rule after their 1-0 win over the Rwandan side in the opening game.
APR’s Right back Michel Rusheshangoga was awarded the Most Valuable Player title in the football event of the 10the edition of the EAC Military Games.
The 10th edition of the event was held under the theme; “One people One Destiny through EAC Military games and cultural event 2016”.
This year’s event focused on five sports discipline including: cross-country race (men and women), football (men), netball (women), basketball (men) and handball (men). The games aim to promote and instill an EAC spirit in regional military forces towards enhancing the integration process.
The objective of the Military Games is to contribute in building confidence, friendship, cooperation and esprit de corps among the EAC Partner States’ Defence Forces under the EAC Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation in Defence, signed in 1998 and revised in 2001.
The East African Community Military Games and Cultural Events are held on a rotational basis since 2005. The first edition was held in Kampala, the Republic of Uganda. They are annually organised in accordance with the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs.
The Protocol promotes inter alia visits and exchange of information, which include sports competitions and cultural exchange between Armed Forces of the Partner States.