Sprinter Orogot lands historic Olympics ticket

Orogot (C) breezing through to the finish line in Florida at the weekend. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

Unraveling History. US-based sprinter Orogot will become the first male Ugandan sprinter to compete at the Olympics in 24 years at the Paris Games in France after he lowered his own 200m national record to 19.90 seconds in Florida at the weekend. His time also improved his Alabama school record by four-hundredths of a second and is an NCAA-leading time.

Sprinter Tarsis Orogot has had tremendous growth since joining the University of Alabama in the USA at the start of 2022.

Since falling under coach Blaine Wiley’s tutelage, Orogot has only turned water into wine each time he has graced the track.

On Saturday, Orogot continued to redefine Uganda’s sprint chapters after he qualified for the Paris Olympics in style by winning the 200m Heat 2 Dash during the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Florida at the weekend.

At the Percy Beard Track, Orogot started his outdoor business over the half-a-lap distance with an incredible performance, leaving the field in his wake to win in a time of 19.90 seconds.

“It was a good race,” Orogot reacted in the early hours of yesterday. “I got to execute the first part of the race real good, great steps in the right direction,” he said.

His finish beat the Olympic qualifying standard of 20.16 and also improved his national record (NR) time from 19.94 set during the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas last June.

Orogot’s performance in Gainesville on Saturday meant he will be the first Ugandan male sprinter to compete at the Olympics in 24 years since Davis Kamoga featured over the 400m at the Sydney 2000 Games in Australia.

For the 200m in particular, Orogot has ended a 32-year wait. Francis Ogola is the last man to feature at the Olympics at this distance - when he made the quarterfinal Heats during Barcelona 1992 Games in Spain.

Then, Orogot himself wasn’t yet born. Also, South Sudan wasn’t a country while Instagram had never been thought of.

Orogot’s time is currently the second fastest in 2024 after Courtney Lindsey’s 19.88 at the Memorial too and there is however some more work to do.

“I want to keep getting better and more consistent especially at the NCAAs and Olympic Games,” added Orogot, who has the fastest 28 times over 200m by a Ugandan - all ahead of Moses Mila Mayat's previous NR mark of 20.63 which had stood since March 27, 1998.

Orogot has twice missed by a whisker to make the 200m final at both the Oregon 2022 and Budapest 2023 editions of the World Athletics Championships in the USA and Hungary respectively.

Reaching the 200m final in Paris on the night of August 8 will be Orogot’s highest achievement in a career, which shot to the skies afterfourth place over the 200m final during the World Athletics U20 Championships in Kenyan capital Nairobi three years ago.



1 Tarsis Orogot (ALA)           19.90

2 Cheickna Traore (PEN)        20.25

3 Cameron Miller (IND)         20.33


Melbourne 1956: Benjamin Nguda (7th - Preliminary Heats, 22.89)

Rome 1960: Sam Amukun (4th - Quarterfinal Heat, 21.30)

Tokyo 1964: Sam Amukun (5th - Prelim Heats, 21.50), Aggrey Awori (7th - Prelim Heats, 22.20)

Mexico City 1968: William Dralu (6th - Prelim Heats, 21:38)

Munich 1972: William Dralu (6th - Prelim Heats, 21:87)

Los Angeles 1984: John Goville (7th - Quarterfinal Heat, 21.55)

Seoul 1988: Sunday Olweny (Rank 47th - Prelim Heats, 21.79)

Barcelona 1992: Francis Ogola (8th - Quarterfinal Heat, 21.41)


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 19.90 (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)



19.90 seconds by Tarsis Orogot (Apr 12, 2024)

20.63 seconds by Moses Mila Mayat (Mar 27, 1998)

20.81 seconds by Pius Adome (Jun 4, 2017)

20.92 seconds by Ali Ngaimoko (Jul 14, 2011)

21.04 seconds by Emmanuel Tugumisirize (Apr 19, 2014)