Orogot wants winning start in Budapest

Orogot wants to start well to earn his place in the 200m finals. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Steady progress. Orogot will tonight become the only third Ugandan sprinter after Francis Ogola and 1997 world 400m bronze medallist Davis Kamoga to compete at back-to-back World Championships. Following his tremendous improvement, the US-based runner, who won an NCAA Indoor bronze medal early this year, has eyes on securing a lane in Friday night’s final.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY. Tarsis Orogot. By far, Uganda’s most improved elite runner over the past one year. 

After finely settling at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, USA, he has made tremendous progress over his 100m, 200m and 400m dashes over the past 13 months.

For the 200m, Orogot has elevated his profile quite high. By posting 19.94 seconds during the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin - Texas early in June, Orogot is now the fastest East African man over the distance.

Yet, it is also the ninth fastest time in the world this year. Such is what gives Orogot sufficient confidence when he enters the National Athletics Centre for the men’s 200m Heats on Day Five of the Budapest World Athletics Championships here in the Hungarian capital on Wednesday.

“I am really excited that I get to climax my season at the World Championships,” the composed runner said in a chat, “I am looking forward to having fun and giving my best.”

This marks Orogot’s second Worlds in a row after finishing fifth in semi-final Heat 2 at the Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon - USA last year. So much has changed since then, including lowering his own national record thrice.

“I think I have matured. As an athlete, I got stronger,” he said. Orogot, who starts off in lane 5 of Heat 5 this afternoon, knows securing a lane for the final due Friday, is a target within range.

“Definitely but as we have seen in this Championship, I have to take each race at a time so that’s my plan at the moment. I have just gotten better mentally and gained a lot of experience,” he said.

In his Heat which has American Courtney Lindsey who has posted 19.85 this year, Orogot must finish among the top three or else, he must be among the next fastest three across all seven Heats to advance to the semi-final Heats due tomorrow.

“I would love to start by winning the Heat,” said the man who had his final preparations in Belgium and the Netherlands. “I am taking it each race at a time, executing to the best of my ability,” he added.

Defending champion American Noah Lyles, who burst into tears upon receiving his 100m gold medal here on Monday, is in Heat 2. Lyles is threatening to break Jamaican Usain Bolt’s world record time of 19.19 seconds.

Lyles led an American 1-2-3 medal sweep with Kenny Bednarek and Erriyon Knighton taking silver and bronze in Oregon last year. Bednarek is entered in lane 5 of Heat 7 while Knighton is placed in lane 9 of Heat 6.


Helsinki 1983: Moses Kyeswa (400m, 7th Semi-Final Heat 2), Mike Okot (6th, Quarterfinal Heat 1)

Tokyo 1991: Joel Otim (6th, 100m Heat 3 & 7th, 400m Heat 2)

Stuttgart 1993: Francis Ogola (DQ, 400m Quarterfinal Heat 1)

Gothenburg 1995: Davis Kamoga (8th, 400m Semi-final Heat 1), Francis Ogola (5th, 400m Quarterfinal Heat 1)

Athens 1997: Davis Kamoga (400m, Bronze)

Eugene 2022: Tarsis Orogot (200m, 5th Semi-Final Heat 2)


Full Name: Tarsis Gracious Orogot

Nickname: ‘Gonya’

Date of birth: November 24, 2002

Major events: 100m and 200m

Outdoor Personal bests: 10.17 seconds (100m) and 19.94 (200m)

Coach: Blaine Wiley

Management: None

Major Honours: Uganda 100m and 200m Junior and Senior National Records, 2021 World U20 200m Finalist (4th place), 2022 200m NCAA Trophy (5th place), 2023 200m Indoor Trophy (2nd Place)


Apr 14: Tom Jones Memorial (1st, 19.60)

May 11: SEC Outdoor (Heat 2, 20.18)

May 13: SEC Outdoor (Final, 20.34)

May 24: NCAA Div. I East 1st Rounds Prem. (1st, 20.12)

May 26: NCAA Div. I East 1st Rounds, Heat 2 (2nd, 20.08)

Jun 7: NCAA Div. I Outdoor Champs, Semi Heat 2 (2nd, 19.94)

Jun 9: NCAA Div. I Outdoor Champs, Final (5th, 20.03)