Andre: We saw how competitive things were in the men’s 400 metres, and the 4x400m will certainly be another event where we could see some exciting action.KC: Yeah! Gone are the days when the United States would start as overwhelming favourites. Things have changed and it should be close-going all the way to the end.Andre: Absolutely, the gap has certainly closed between the US and the other top teams in this event and nothing is guaranteed for the Americans. This is a tough one and one that has three to four possible winners.KC: Despite the gap closing, it will be hard betting against them, though, as the athletes in their line-up have all gone sub-45 secondsAndre: They are a team with a lot of class, but there are several teams with multiple guys running sub-45, such as Trinidad and Tobago and even Jamaica. That is not such a rarity these days, so it can hardly been seen as an advantage for the Americans.KC: Trinidad and Tobago, I think, have the greatest chance of upstaging the Americans, while the likes of Great Britain, Belgium, and Jamaica will ensure that the top two are fully extended.Andre: Yes. Trinidad and Tobago have a very good crop of athletes, but they have failed to deliver in the past so I don’t trust them too much.KC: I had expected The Bahamas to be major threats, but, unfortunately, they will not be there in the final and their absence will see the United States under less pressure as they have one less top team to worry about.Andre: Good point, but The Bahamas quarter-milers have not been doing that well comparatively and, pressure or not, this USA team is primed to do well at this event, like they always do. The real battle is going to be among Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, and look out for Kenya on this one.KC: The key for Jamaica here is Javon Francis, but something went wrong with him after his anchor leg in the preliminary round and if he is not good to go in the final, we can forget about getting any medal here as he is the backbone of the team.Andre: He is good to go, according to the team officials, but I don’t know if there will be any lingering effects of the injury while he is actually competing. He suffered this injury when another athlete crashed into him at the end of his heat.KC: If he is good to go and with Rusheen McDonald inserted in the team, Jamaica will definitely be a medal contenders as I think this quartet is much stronger than the one two years ago that got silver. And Francis will definitely not get the baton too far off the pack on anchor this time around.Andre: I’m picking USA for the win. I’m not sure about Trinidad and Tobago. On paper, they ought to beat Jamaica, but they hardly live up to expectations these days. USA first, Jamaica repeats their Moscow performance for the silver, and Kenya with the bronzeKC: It has not been a good championship for the United States. They surely need a win here to ensure that they stay above Jamaica on the gold-medal table and will be pumped up. With LaShawn Merritt back at his best, he should anchor them to an impressive victory. I give Trinidad and Tobago the edge for silver with Jamaica just edging out the Great Britain team for bronze.
Muzamir Mutyaba celebrating his goal against Madagascar at the StarTimes stadium in Lugogo on Wednesday. Photo by Shaban Lubega.FOOTBALL–Uganda Cranes lost 2-1 in a practice match played against the Island nation of Madagascar at the StarTimes stadium in Lugogo on Wednesday.The Island nation ranked 101st in the FIFA rankings came from a goal down to upset World Cup hopefuls Uganda with only two days to the crucial World Cup qualifier against west African giants GhanaKampala Capital City Authority FC midfielder Muzamiru Mutyaba gave Cranes the lead after 29 minutes with a clinical finish off an Edrisa Lubega pass with Uganda clearly in control of proceedings.When Basena made eleven changes at the start of the second half, things completely changed as Madagascar foward Rio Carlous Anoriananicinos scored at both ends of the half to ensure that his side upsets the Uganda Cranes.His first in the 49th minute was a rebounded penalty which he converted after the initial effort was saved by goal keeper Benjamin Ochan.The penalty was as a result of clumsy play when midfielder Ina Faneva Andriatsina was brought down in the area by Cranes right back Nicholas Wadada.The second was a superb counter-attack finished off by striker Anoriananicinos on 88 minutes as Cranes pushed for a winner.Team captain and first choice goalkeeper Dennis Onyango was the only un-used substitute in the match.The team will regroup Thursday for training at Mandela National Stadium, starting 4pm.Uganda is second in group E, two points behind leader Egypt with their Saturday opponents Ghana third on five points.Comments