Monday April 16 2018

Athletics draws level with boxing on eight

Cheptegei wins second gold in Commonwealth Games

Uganda’s Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei crosses the finish line ahead of Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed in the athletics men's 10,000m final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 13, 2018. AFP PHOTO  

By Mark Namanya

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

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

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