The much awaited continent’s top showpiece in motocross, the Mountain Dew FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations (MXOAN) Championship came to close over the weekend at Victoria Raceway Track, Garuga.
Hosts Uganda managed a third place finish overall whilst South Africa (SA) and Zambia dominated the first two positions respectively.
However, there was alot left to be desired by parents of debutant riders, who lined up to represent their country.
For debutants, it was another experience all together as some parents narrate.
“Having my son represent his country, was a great honor and indeed a big experience for him,” says two-time National rally champion ‘Super lady’ Susan Muwonge, mother to Filbert Lawrence Muwonge.
“Him finishing 10th on his debut, for team ‘Kacungwa’ its impressive, as there were many riders in his class and was racing against them for the first time,” explained Muwonge.
Filbert’s manager, Pius Ssentamu added; “I credit our rider Filbert Lawrence Muwonge, for his persistence and resilience, he adapted swiftly to the all through muddy terrain, and put up a pretty good performance.”
Competiting with different countries never raised any phobia, since Filbert has taken part in CAC, and aced a couple races across the borders.
“With this in mind, an Apple never falls far from the mother tree,” said the jovial manager.
Just as the Muwonges, Joshua Muwanguzi, father to Abigail Muwanguzi one of the five riders that represented Uganda says, he of course felt so good seeing his daughter race, finish third overall in 50CC seniors, and walk home with a trophy.
“I am happy for my daughter getting a third place on her first country representation, I am anxiously looking forward to 2023 edition in South Africa,” said the broadly smiling Muwanguzi.
Rashid Makumbi, father to Ashram Makumbi and Jamairah Makumbi starts with outlining challenges that included; foreign team syndication where countries like South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe fielded riders with respective roles.
“They had pacesetters, defenders and front runners, thus the reason why South Africa and Zambia dominated the top three positions,” explained Makumbi.
He then added that, riders from the outstanding Nations had proper competition bikes, with wet weather tyres, suspension, and sprays that would see their bikes not stuck with mud holds.
Makumbi confessed that his daughter Jamairah faced biggest number of riders for the first time in her class. This created inner fear in her which psychologically affected her with even the muddy track on Saturday.
He recommended team training, team work, unity and asked fellow parents to avoid jeopardising the sport with politics.
Great performance was witnessed from Larry Sekamwa, who rode as ultility rider for team Uganda.
“It’s unfortunate my son was underrated by by those who picked the score riders for Team Uganda, from far gate and would only chase front pack, personally I knew he would excel, I am actually not pleased with third place finish just as he is, he would have done better,” said Eddie Sekamwa, who doubles as a rider parent and proprietor, Kyakaigo Sports Arena in Fort Portal.
He added, more lessons were learnt from the race itself, they will be much prepared for 2023 as a team.
Team manager Uganda veteran rally co-driver, George Ssemakula who is also a rider parent, trainer and director Semka Riding Academy says, the event seemed big for all the debutants.
“It’s had big number of starters in all classes, which put alot of pressure on our riders.”
“The track itself was quite challenging to the kids, it was pilled a lot, muddy with water splashes, which was a must design by FIM officials after safety and under prepared track stories had been raised,” Ssemakula outlined.
“We however had some outstanding performances from our riders right from the Pee class and MX Veterans.”
Uganda’s future in Motocross is promising and brighter, as confessed by FIM-AFRICA president, Marco Comona in his interview at end of event at Garuga.
Victors South Africa are the next hosts for 2023 MXOAN edition, with the continental body FIM-Africa pushing organisers to have it run in nearest states of Johannesburg or Pretoria, at dates to be outed soon.
*Compiled by FMU Media