Athletes screwed out of decent chance to trial for Olympics — by a religious revival meeting

Ugandan track event athletes have blamed their failure to qualify for the Olympics on the inferior track they were forced to use for time trials…These were supposed to be held at the national stadium but a double booking meant they had to make way for a Japanese Happy Science religious rally.

The Uganda Athletics Federation said had they been at the stadium, at least five athletes could have qualified…”It means we have to wait for another four years,” one sprinter told the BBC.

The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga in the capital, Kampala, says there is a feeling that Happy Science’s money enabled them to get the venue over the athletics meeting.

But Brian Rycroft from Happy Science told the BBC the new age group had booked the stadium for their event on Saturday through a third party and did not know about the confusion…

…The Olympic time trials for hundreds of athletes had to be held on Friday at Makerere University, where the track is uneven and does not have precision timing equipment.

A few of Uganda’s runners will get another chance to qualify at the All Africa Games in Benin next week, but for many it is the end of the road

A New Age religion called Happy Science? WTF?

Ryuho Okawa claims to channel the spirits of Muhammad, Christ, Buddha and Confucius and claims to be the incarnation of the supreme spiritual being called El Cantare. OK. That takes care of that.

It’s still up to someone in Uganda to determine who double-booked the stadium – and gave precedence to the loonies. Given Ugandan politics – I ain’t holding my breath waiting for details.

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