Ugandan female rower Grace Kathleen Noble finished 5th in Heat 2 of Women’s Single Sculls during the opening round of the event at the Sea Forest Waterway at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Japan. The event that happened on Friday had six participants.
Kathleen, 26 finished with a time of 8:25.85, beating only Singapore’s Joan Poh who finished sixth with a time of 8:31.2.
Kathleen who is Uganda’s first ever rower at the games revealed that she overcame stage fright and put up what she believes is a good display at the global stage.
“I think today went well…I was very relieved this morning. Often on race days I wake up and I feel very sick and I have no appetite but this morning I woke up and I felt good. On the starting blocks usually I’m shaking but today I wasn’t,” Kathleen told Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) media team adding that she’s grateful to God that she felt the way she did.
“With the result I was happy. I’m happy with how my race went. There’s a lot very fast people in my heat and I wasn’t expecting to beat anyone. I was happy to come out 5th out of 6,” Kathleen added.
Ireland’s Sanita Puspuse won the race with a time of 7:46.08 followed by Mexico’s Kenia Lechuga who managed a time of 7:54.21. Greece’s Anneta Kyridou sealed the podium with a time of 7:54.28.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Felice Aisha Chow finished fourth with a time of 8:02.02 and will compete at the event’s Repechage with Kathleen and Poh. The Repechage event will happen on Saturday, 24th July and it forms a pathway to the finals of the main event.
“Tomorrow is a big race where I will try to get to the quarter finals and I will see how that goes,” Uganda’s Kathleen said adding that she’s looking forward to the opening ceremony that will happen today.
For Uganda, the Olympics proper will run from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan with 25 Ugandan athletes (13 females and 12 males) set to be in the mix.