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Strathmore Teams Excel in East Africa Varsity Games

Strathmore University teams were among hundreds of teams that converged at the Uganda Christian University for the East Africa University games, a tournament that was attended by 48 Universities from across the region.


Strathmore which was ranked 16 overall, was represented by 57 players drawn from different sports disciplines, and 7 team officials. The tournament was held between 17th and 21st of December. Flying the University’s flags were the men’s (Blades) and ladies’ (Swords) basketball teams, the men’s Hockey team (Gladiators), the ladies’ Volleyball team (Panthers) and Karate represented by both ladies and men.


The blades team were the bronze medalists after beating Ndejje University a convincing 52-32 in the third-place playoff game. In prior games, Blades had smooth sailing winning all matches, but their contested semi-finals game against KIU saw them lose the match with a narrow 49-54. Earlier, Blades trounced Busitema 55-12, MKU 31-20, JKUAT 28-23, UMU 42-25 and University of Rwanda 46-29 to set up a meeting with Makerere University in the quarter finals a game that they won 62-51. The tournament’s format of running time and missing out on the core of their team from injuries affected Blades’ intensity in their tournament.


Swords, were also unlucky in the finals losing out to Uganda’s powerhouse UCU in the finals to secure silver medals. Swords’ journey to the finals was marked by a celebrated victory over their Kenyan rivals USIU in a semi-finals clash, a game that was settled by a seven-point difference at 43-36. In their two games of the group stages, Swords lost to the eventual winners UCU 27-40 but bounced back with a 38-26 win over University of Rwanda to qualify for the quarters where again they were the victors of a tough clash with Makerere University with 48-44 win. Swords again missed four of their five starters in forwards by Pauline Oketch, Quinter Odongo and Joyce Masiga. Guard Rachel Opinya was also absent for the tournament, because of exams.


In the Karate games, the SU men’s team was eliminated in the first round. In the over 84kgs category, SU’s Ramadhani Mzee beat his opponent from Ndejje University in the semis but lost to KIU opponent to grab a silver medal. Other games saw SU’s duo of Martin Karungi and Brian Mwakio lose in the first round of Men individual Kata while Mwakio lost in the second round of under 64 kgs. Their ladies compatriots were silver medalists in the team Kata after losing to KIU in the finals. Grace Kathure and Jane Njeri both lost in the first round of the ladies’ individual kumite.


The gladiators crowned the games champions after beating local rivals JKUAT 3-2 in a tough finals game played at Lugogo stadium in Kampala.  The team beat Moi University 2-1 in their second game that was preceded by a barren draw against finalists JKUAT. Their last group stage game pitted them against Makerere a game that they won with a 4-0 margin easing to the semi-finals. Gladiators were a depleted side heading to the semis without two key players who were out with injuries but displayed a strong character beating University of Eldoret 2-1 courtesy of Edwin Wanyama and Clayson Luvanda. The final game was hard fought with Gladiators missing the services of their key players through injuries. However through a great rotation and discipline from the players, the team emerged victors thanks to Ben Ochieng, Peter Njoroge and Constant Wakhura who were the scorers that earned the University its only gold medal in the championship.


Panthers, lost to their perennial rivals Kenyatta University in the semi-finals. Earlier, the team had won all but one of their group stages beating both JKUAT and IUIU 2-0 but lost by the same margin to Nkumba University.


The swimming team did not manage a podium finish. They however managed to book a place in the finals in all the events they participated in while recording personal best times in each event.