Nimusiima eyes fourth title at Empire Casino Open

Sunday 5th January 2020

Due to a rough political space, Pool Association of Uganda (PAU) struggled to stage individual competitions in 2019.

After an interim PAU committee led by Adam Sebbi came in place four months ago, they finally have an individual knock-out tournament to stage. The 2019-2020 season will close with the Empire Casino Kampala Open that is set to attract 120 male competitors and 32 female participants for a three-day contest that D-Arena in Namirembe beginning today.

"PAU went into slumber for eight months but we are grateful for Empire Casino's sponsorship to have this Open," Kampala Open tournament director Robert Kayanja told this paper yesterday. A Shs10m package that includes trophies, prize money and logistics among others is what Empire Casino has offered. "As a way of giving back to the community, we decided to pass our contribution through sports and we chose pool," remarked Empire Casino manager Farook Saraby. "We choose pool is because of its big following and growth across the country. We use pool to pass on many of our programs to the youth especially in sensitising them about HIV-Aids, drug abuse and many more," he added. On the table, three-time champion Rita Nimusiima (pictured) is one to watch. She is among the female players tipped to win the trophy and Shs1.2m prize money having been the best team player as the She Pool Cranes won the Blackball format at the All Africa Pool Championships (AAPA) in South Africa in late October.

"2019 was fair, not so bad. I tried my best," said Nimusiima who also won the inaugural Nile Special National Pool Open in 2018.

Currently with Upper Volta, she guided them to the Clubs Knockout title and in the non-PAU ranking Indigo Open, she reached the final.

"I have been training hard and I believe I will perform very well this weekend," added the national female seed one. Nimusiima, who won the Kampala Open in 2013, 2014 and 2015, must contend rivalry from Volta teammate Zaimat Nabafu who defeated her 15-12 in the Indigo Open final. Nabafu was the top scorer at AAPA and is currently ranked second on the league top-scorer charts, a place ahead of Nimusiima.

Their teammates Jacinta Kajubi, Sheila Anka, Angella Busingye, Faith Amina and Fauziah Namuganga are also in the fray.

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