16 April 2018

Uganda: Athletics Draws Level With Boxing On Eight

Photo: @UgTourismBoard/Twitter
Joshua Cheptegei after his 5 000m victory at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Going into the 2018 Commonwealth Games, boxing were out on their own as Uganda's most dominant sport in the history of the event.

Of Uganda's 13 gold medals before Gold Coast, eight were earned in the ring with five coming via athletics.

Thanks to the heroics of legends like George Oywello, who earned Uganda gold in the year the country got independence - the first ever, and future talents like Justin Juuko and Godfrey Nyakana, the sweet science has traditionally been a sport where Uganda enjoyed comparative advantage on the Commonwealth family.

The true peak of Uganda's dominance was in the mid and early 70s when Mohammed Muruli, James Odwori and Ayub Kalule won gold in Edinburgh, Scotland and Christchurch, New Zealand.

Drawing level

But the last week of the 2018 edition have seen athletics exert its weight to draw level with boxing on eight gold medals apiece.

Joshua Cheptegei's double gold and Stella Chesang's mean athletics are now with boxing as Uganda's joint-most successful games in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

Athletics' surge started in the mid-2000s when Dorcus Inzikuru and Boniface Kiprop won Uganda two gold medals at the Melbourne edition.

Since then, Uganda has not failed to win a medal in the 10000m through the efforts of Moses Ndiema Kipsiro and Cheptegei.

Chesang's surprise victory in the women's 10,000m was further confirmation that athletics, today, is Uganda's best hope for international glory. Crippled by administrative wrangling, boxing has endured lean times in recent years.

CW Golds in Ugandan history

Athletics

Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei - 10,000m - 2018

Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei - 5,000m - 2018

Stella Chesang - 10,000m - 2018

Moses Ndiema Kipsiro - 10,000m - 2014

Moses Ndiema Kipsiro - 10,000m - 2010

Moses Ndiema Kipsiro - 5,000m - 2010

Boniface Kiprop - 10,000m -2006

Dorcus Inzikuru - 3000m -2006

Boxing

Godfrey Nyakana - L.Weight - 1990

Justin Juuko - L.F.Weight - 1990

Ayub Kalule - L.Weight - 1974

Mohammed Muruli - W.Weight - 1974

Benson Masanda - H.Weight - 1970

Mohammed Muruli - L.W.Weight - 1970

James Odwori - L.F.Weight - 1970

George Oywello -H.Weight - 1962

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