Uganda and Her Best Performances at the Commonwealth Games: Boxers and Track Athletes in the 1970’s

Introduction
It changed into at the Commonwealth of Nations Games of 1970 and 1974, that had been held in the metropolis Edinburgh in Scotland and in Christchurch in New Zealand respectively, that Uganda’s competitors were maximum successful at those quadrennial events แทงบอลสเต็ป.

In 1970, Uganda’s performance in boxing changed into the most uplifting with Uganda triumphing three gold medals (James Odwori, Mohamed Muruli, and Benson Masanda) and two silver medals (Leo Rwabwogo and Deogratias Musoke). The different medals won for Uganda were on the music–William Koskei’s silver medal within the four hundred meters-hurdles, and Judith Ayaa’s bronze medal in the women’s four hundred meters. Uganda executed equally well at the Commonwealth Games of 1970.

Bronze medal wins in boxing, on the Commonwealth Games held in Kingston in Jamaica in 1966, by way of Alex Odhiambo, Mathias Ouma, and Benson Ocan had been indication that Uganda changed into transferring up in worldwide amateur boxing ranks. Uganda’s performance on the Commonwealth Games, four years in advance (1962) in Perth in Australia, witnessed Uganda win her first Commonwealth gold via manner of heavyweight boxer George Oywello. Also incredible on the venue were the boxing bronze medal wins by using John Sentongo and destiny countrywide military commander and Olympic Committee member Francis Nyangweso, and the silver medal received by using future countrywide boxing trainer Kesi Odongo. To buttress Uganda’s self belief within the realm of boxing have been Uganda’s first and simplest Olympic medal wins, on the 1968 venue Mexico City, by means of boxers Leo Rwabwogo and Eridadi Mukwanga–a bronze and silver medal respectively. That is despite the lofty Olympic judging of 1968 and later 1972 that turned into reputedly tinged with racial bias and favoritism.

Edinburgh, Scotland 1970
At the 1970 Commonwealth of Nations Games, the teenager James Odwori changed into Uganda’s boxing competitor inside the flyweight division. The beginning become quite smooth for Odwori, given that he was now not drawn many of the four out of the entire 10 flyweights that might combat within the preliminary rounds on July 17th. Since the entire numbers of competition in the very low and the very excessive weight divisions were enormously fewer, many have been robotically located inside the next spherical–the zone finals. The first flyweight quarter-finals bout was on July 20th. Odwori beat Anthony Kerr of host-us of a Scotland, on points, and earned his price ticket to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals that concerned 4 contenders, Odwori become again scheduled to container within the first bout. By a majority factors selection, Odwori impressively beat Mickey Abrams of England, on July twenty second and changed into through to the finals! Odwori would flow on to beat Anthony Davis of Wales by using factors, to win Uganda’s first 1970 Commonwealth Games gold medal. Odwori had impressively set the same old for Uganda boxers. He boxed for the Uganda Prisons and the countrywide teams for greater than ten future years and later went back to his native Kenya in which he became Kenya Prisons boxing instruct and later Kenya country wide coach.

The flyweight division concerned twelve contenders on the Commonwealth Games of 1970. Just like Odwori, Uganda’s contender Leo Rwabwogo thankfully bypassed the initial round of July 17th such that he might first fight as 1 / 4-finalist. On July twentieth Leo Rwabwogo was place in the zone-finals to fight Leon Nissen (whose same dual Henry was also a boxer) of Australia. The referee stopped the competition inside the 2nd spherical, a technical knockout in want of Rwabwogo, permitting Rwabwogo to transport at the semi-finals. On July twenty second, Rwabwogo changed into placed in the first bantamweight semi-final bout with opponent 18 yr-old David Larmour of Ireland who might later emerge as an Olympian and professional boxer. Rwabwogo won with the aid of a majority factors selection. For the finals, Rwabwogo could struggle with destiny expert and Englishman David (Dave) Needham of Nottingham. Needham ably outpointed Rwabwogo through 4-1, allowing Rwabwogo to accept the silver medal. The gold medal had eluded Rwabwogo on the Olympic Games in Mexico City wherein he settled for bronze; and within the forthcoming Olympics of 1972 that had been held in Munich in Germany, Rwabwogo might again fall short of the huge win after being defeated in the finals. But famed Rwabwogo stays Uganda’s best double-Olympic medallists and the best Ugandan to have captured medals at each the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

Uganda’s bantamweight contender Eridadi Mukwanga had on the Olympic Games of 1968 in Mexico city cemented history by becoming the nation’s first Olympic silver medallist. At those Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Rwabwogo changed into in the final bout of the bantamweight department scheduled to combat Joe Cooke of Canada. Mukwanga become now not able to stay as much as his fame and expectations, defeated by way of points with the aid of Joe Cooke of Canada on July 18th. Cooke could afterward additionally be kicked out of medal competition, whilst he become defeated via Stewart Ogilvie of Scotland, after the referee stopped the bout inside the first spherical.

In the featherweight department Uganda’s Deogratias Musoke strutted his feathers. At the preliminaries, on July 18th, Musoke changed into pitted in opposition to unheralded G. Marisa of Tanzania. The bout went in want of Musoke after the referee halted the contest in the 2d spherical. On July 21st, in the region-finals, Musoke moved on to the semi-finals after beating Eddie Pritchard of Wales with the aid of points. For the semi-finals was scheduled to satisfy with Pakistan’s Abdul Samad Mir. The combat did no longer materialize because Samad Mir become unable to combat. It have become an clean walkover in desire of Musoke. The consolation for Pakistan changed into that Mir’s bronze medal become the sole one for the state at this Commonwealth Games’ venue. Also, Samad Mir remains one of the most famous of Pakistani boxers. In the 1970’s he turned into declared “Best Boxer of Asia.” He joined the army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He additionally coached the Pakistani’s Army Boxing in addition to National groups. Samad Amir handed away in May 2009.

In the finals, Musoke could face Kenya’s longstanding boxing legend Philip Waruinge whose boxing accolades encompass multiple medals at both the Commonwealth and the Olympic Games. Deogratias Musoke, defeated on points in the finals on July twenty fourth, changed into offered the featherweight boxing silver medal.

The preliminary light-weight bout on July 18th, among Uganda’s teenager Joseph Nsubuga and Olympian Kenneth Mwansa of Zambia, led to an early farewell for Nsubuga who was defeated by using points.

Mohamed Muruli, one in every of Uganda’s grasp boxers, had as a light-weight been located 5th average on the Olympics of 1968 in Mexico City. This time, Muruli would represent Uganda as a light welterweight. There were twelve competitors on this division and Muruli became fortunate to be drawn into the area-finals and therefore forego fighting within the preliminaries of July seventeenth. In the region-finals, held on July 20th, Muruli outpointed Reginald Forde of Guyana. Forde remains one of the maximum well-known Guyanese boxers. On September 14th 1978, Reggie Forde changed into as a expert fighter knocked out inside the 5th round by famed Uganda boxer Ayub Kalule, within the quest for the British Empire Commonwealth identify.

On July twenty second, in the semi-finals, difficult-hitting Muruli defeated future Olympian Odartey Lawson of Ghana when the referee stopped the fight inside the first spherical. Muruli moved on to win the gold for Uganda after outpointing Dave Davis of Wales on July twenty fourth.

The welterweight division witnessed Uganda’s Olympian Andrew Kajjo eliminate Hugo Chansa of Zambia through points on July seventeenth 1970. The next year Chansa could turn professional and in April 1974 he might die from brain injuries quickly after being knocked out by using Scotland’s Don McMillan in a middleweight bout. On June 20th, Emma Ankudey of Ghana could mar Kajjo’s quest for a medal via beating him through factors inside the region-finals. Ankudey might finally win the gold medal and additionally represent Ghana at the Olympics of 1972 in Montreal.

Uganda’s biracial mild-middleweight boxing champion David Jackson became drawn to begin preventing in the sector-finals, and not combat a few of the eight competition inside the preliminaries. As a youngster Jackson become placed 5th basic in the various light-middleweight competition at the Olympics of 1968 in Mexico City. This time in Edinburgh, Jackson did no longer cross some distance, given that on July twentieth the referee halted the bout in the first round in choose of Tom Imrie of Scotland. Imrie had received the Commonwealth silver medal at the preceding venue of Kingston in Jamaica and he remains a famous Scottish boxer. Imrie will be the eventual gold medal winner this time in Edinburgh, and thereafter circulate directly to expert preventing. His record as a expert pugilist become mediocre. David Jackson might once more combat for Uganda on the drawing close Olympics (1972) in Montreal, and be positioned ninth typical in the welterweight division.

The youngster John Opio moved on to the region-finals, after defeating future professional boxer Billy May of Wales, via factors on July 20th in the initial rounds of the middleweight department. But within the zone-finals, in opposition to Samuel Kasongo of Zambia, Opio changed into eliminated after the referee stopped the contest within the 1/3 round. Opio might represent Uganda on the coming near near Olympics in Munich.

The preliminaries of the mild heavyweight division worried the second-spherical disqualification of Commonwealth bronze medallist and a pair of-time Olympian George Mathias Ouma at the fingers of Johnny Banham of England on July 18th.

Because there have been handiest seven contestants within the heavyweight division, and 6 have been placed in the zone-finals. It became Uganda’s Benson Masanda, a number of the seven boxers, who hit the jackpot through robotically being positioned inside the next stage–the semi-finals! The zone-finals befell on July twentieth. In the semi-finals on July 22nd, Masanda defeated Canada’s Jack Meda by way of disqualification in round 2. In the finals, on July 24th, Masanda won gold via defeating John McKinty of Ireland with the aid of factors. Compared to all Uganda’s boxing participants, Masanda had won the gold in pretty an easy and unconventional way. This might be Uganda’s 2d Commonwealth Games’ gold medal, following that of George Oywello in 1962 in Perth in Australia.

Courtesy of the final tally of gold medals gained through James Odwori, Mohamed Muruli, and Benson Masanda; and silver medals received by using Leo Rwabwogo and Deogratias Musoke Uganda had convincingly emerged as Commonwealth of Nations’ boxing championships. This became the first collective global victory for Uganda, and the nation rejoicingly appeared forward to greater triumphs at the international level. The rest of Uganda’s medals had been just : the silver medal received with the aid of William “Bill” Koskei within the four hundred meters-hurdles, and the bronze medal gained by using Judith Ayaa in the 400 meters-sprint. The total of 3 gold, three silver, and one bronze medal placed Uganda as ninth typical at this Commonwealth event with 7 medals. How could Uganda’s boxers fare within the subsequent Commonwealth venue that would be Christchurch in New Zealand in 1974? There have been a army coup in Uganda, commander Idi Amin have become president, the regime have become notorious for killings and disappearances of nationals or even foreigners. Anxiety loomed as to whether or not detrimental social and political factors might translate to disappointing performances within the realm of sports. And sure, many factors of sports activities deteriorated throughout the regime of Idi Amin, and the pool of potential and cutting-edge athletes was decreased. But how would Uganda fare in Christchurch, two years to the day into the regime of Idi Amin?

Christchurch, New Zealand 1974
Christchurch hosted the Commonwealth of Nations’ Games from January 24th to February second, 1974. The boxing flyweight department saw the returning of the gold medallist James Odwori of Uganda. In the region-finals, on January twenty eighth, Odwori knocked out Tanzanian Olympian Bakari Selemani (Seleman) inside the 2nd spherical. The semi-finals, hung on January 31st witnessed Odwori defeat Singapore’s Syed Abdul Kadir with the aid of factors. Kadir remains certainly one of Singapore’s maximum renowned fighters, and became named “Sportsman of the Year” after his Commonwealth Games’ bronze medal win.

The finals of the light flyweight department were held of February 1st. This time, Odwori could be pitted against Kenyan Stephen Muchoki who stays considered one of Kenya’s maximum famous boxers. The quite shorter Muchoki outpointed the champion Odwori, leaving Odwori to settle for silver. Muchoki would successfully shield his Commonwealth gold at the imminent venue Edmonton in Canada, in 1978. His illustrious profession also protected the silver medal win on the World Amateur Championships in Havana in 1974, and later the gold within the match which become hosted by way of Belgrade in Yugoslavia in 1978. Muchoki could thereafter move into the expert ranks and even emerge as Africa Boxing Union champion. But he failed in his quest for the European title and the World Boxing Association name, and he retired from boxing throughout the overdue 1980’s.

In the area-finals of the flyweight division, on January twenty ninth, Ugandan John Byaruhanga knocked-out John Lawless of Scotland inside the 2d spherical. But inside the semi-finals, January 31st, Byaruhanga changed into defeated on points by Olympian Chandra Narayanan of India. Byaruhanga consequently settled with the bronze medal.

Uganda’s bantamweight Ali Rojo was drawn as a quarter-finalist to combat Olympian Habibu (Habib) Kinyogoli of Tanzania on January twenty eighth. Rojo won with the aid of points and moved on to the semi-finals. Kinyogoli stays one of the most renowned of Tanzania’s boxer and he is a boxing teacher.

The January 31st bantamweight semi-very last became in favor of Rojo, by factors, leaving Kenyan Isaac Kuria Maina to go home with the bronze. In the finals, on February 1st, Patrick “Pat” Cowdell of England killed Ali Rojo’s quest for the gold by way of prevailing through points. Rojo had won the second boxing medal for Uganda. A well-known British boxer, Cowdell would build an outstanding boxing career for the duration of which he became a European Union champion. But he failed to win in his preventing for a world name.

Uganda’s featherweight competitor turned into Shadrack (Shadrah? Shadrach?) Odhiambo. On January twenty ninth, within the zone-finals, younger future Olympian and lengthy-time fighter Odhiambo outpointed Colin Flinn of England. Odhiambo might later as a light welterweight combat for Sweden and win her a bronze medal on the World Amateur Championships in 1982 in Munich. Odhiambo additionally fought for Sweden inside the 1980 (Moscow) and 1984 (Los Angeles) Olympics. He did now not win any Olympic medals.

In the Christchurch Commonwealth games semi-very last, Odhiambo ably defeated Dale Anderson of Canada via points on January 31st. However, the finals, on February 1st witnessed experienced Commonwealth Games’ champion Eddie Ndukwu of Nigeria win the gold medal on a factors decision. Odhiambo had gained Uganda’s 0.33 boxing silver medal! Ndukwu could soon flip expert and even reign as British Empire (Commonwealth) featherweight champion. Ndukwu stays the various greater ambitious names among Nigerian boxers.

On January 27th, in the preliminaries, a locally popular and heavily promising 20 yr-vintage light-weight lad Ayub Kalule climbed into the ring to task Tanzanian William Lyimo who became the equal age as Kalule. Kalule received, by means of points. In 1980, Lyimo elderly 27 could combat at the Olympic Games held in Moscow. He commendably passed the second one spherical, but turned into within the region-finals knocked out inside the 0.33 spherical by using 20 12 months-antique Anthony Willis of Great Britain. He might as a consequence settle for 5th position inside the welterweight division. Many African countries boycotted the Olympic venue of Moscow. Heaney later have become a professional boxer, but he would quickly retire without an acclaimed boxing record.

In the region-finals of the Commonwealth Games’ lightweight boxing fight in Christchurch, on January 28th 1974, Ayub Kalule ably out-boxed and bloodily facially disfigured 22 year-vintage Irishman “Sugar” Ray Heaney. The fight is featured on You-Tube wherein Heaney changed into allotted two mandatory counts given the formidable punishing from the short and tough-punching Kalule.

In the semi-finals, Kalule changed into set to face New Zealand teen Robert Charles Colley. The final results concerned Colley being outpointed and settling for the bronze medal.

At the zone finals, Kalule became pitted in opposition to 19 12 months-vintage New Zealander Robert Charles Colley. Colley would be outpointed (and accept the bronze), allowing Kalule to move directly to the very last stage. After being removed by using Russian Valery Limasov in the first round at the Olympic Games of 1976 held in Montreal (Canada), Colley could turn professional. Though Colley’s professional record is superb, it’s miles mediocre insofar as his fights had been restricted to New Zealand and Australia, and Colley retired pretty early in existence…In 1980. At the finals of these Commonwealth Games, Kalule might outpoint Kayin Amah of Nigeria and consequently win the gold. Kayin Amah, who had within the preliminaries lost to legendary Philip Waruinge of Kenya within the preceding Commonwealth Games (1970), would this time be happier with taking home a silver.

Perhaps Ayub Kalule’s maximum prestigious newbie come across, would be the inaugural World Amateur Boxing Championships that had been held in Havana in Cuba in August 17-30. Here, Kalule, a mild welterweight, defeated Bulgarian Vladmir Kolev to win the gold. In November of the identical year, Kalule nonetheless as a mild welterweight, gained another gold medal for Uganda. This changed into at the African Amateur Boxing Championships that have been held in Kampala on Kalule’s soil. The next 12 months Kalule turned expert in Denmark, rose unexpectedly thru the ranks. He could pass directly to grow to be Uganda’s first expert world boxing champion (WBA junior middleweight). His accolades protected becoming a European Boxing Union Champion, and scuffling with such famend boxers as “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Sumbu Kalambay, Mike McCallum, Lindell Holmes, and Herol Graham. Kalule fought in what many regard because the golden technology of junior middleweight champions. Kalule remains Uganda’s maximum well-known boxer. In March 2011, Kalule became gotten smaller to educate top junior Danish boxers.

Joseph Nsubuga were eliminated on points via Kenneth Mwansa of Zambia proper at the start of the preliminaries on the preceding Commonwealth Games venue Edinburgh. There Nsubuga had represented Uganda as a light-weight. Nsubuga, still a teenager, became now lower back on the Commonwealth Games to combat as a light welterweight. This time, the initial first round on January 27 witnessed Nsubuga quickly overwhelm his opponent. The fight did no longer pass a ways. The referee halted the contest in the first spherical, dashing the hopes of Philip Sapak of Papua New Guinea. However, two days later inside the sector-finals, James Douglas of Scotland defeated Nsubuga through points and thereby halted Nsubuga’s quest for a medal.

Months later, in August, Nsubuga might win a bronze medal for Uganda at the inaugural World Amateur Boxing Championships in Havana. Nsubuga had moved as much as the middleweight department. Quite a skillful boxer, Nsubuga would turn professional and flow to Norway, and he would basically combat in Europe. Nsubuga stopped competing in 1981 whilst he changed into knocked out by way of well-known future global champion Davey Moore. Perhaps Nsubuga’s maximum extraordinary professional combat become his spirited gladiator struggle (non-name bout) with mythical Panamanian Roberto Duran. Though Duran seemed to be tiring, Joseph “Stoneface” Nsubuga turned into knocked out on the cease of the fourth round. This combat is available on You-Tube.

Welterweight Mohamed Muruli had won Uganda a gold medal at the previous Commonwealth of Nations Games’ venue Edinburgh. There in 1970, Muruli had boxed as a lightweight. Here in Christchurch, Muruli was representing Uganda as a welterweight. The preliminary round witnessed Muruli outpunch Caleb Okech of Kenya, on January twenty sixth. On January twenty ninth, at some stage in the sector-finals, Muruli beat destiny Olympian Carmen Rinke of Canada by means of factors. The semi-finals concerned Muruli beating Steven Cooney of Scotland, by means of factors on January 31st. On February 1st, Muruli became the first Ugandan to ever win two Commonwealth Games’ gold medals through outpointing Welsh Errol McKenzie within the finals. McKenzie might turn expert at some stage in 1975, but he retired after an unimpressive boxing file. Muruli is among Uganda’s exquisite boxers, and he twice represented Uganda at the Olympics.

Uganda’s light middleweight John Langol was rescued by the referee who stopped the preliminaries fit-up of January 27th 1974 towards Lance Revill of New Zealand. The fight changed into stopped within the 2nd round. In 1981, Langol moved to Birmingham in England to combat professionally. His professional tenure would remaining handiest four years and it would involve an unimpressive report of 6 wins and 8 losses. Revill could fight professionally in Australia and New Zealand, but his boxing report might be common.

On January twenty ninth of 1974, in a quarter-final, Uganda’s middleweight champion Mustapha Wasajja changed into knocked out inside the first round by means of Les Rackley of New Zealand. At the inaugural World Boxing Championships held on August 1974 in Havana, Wasajja was removed by means of points within the area-finals. In November, Wasajja would come to be Africa amateur champion on the nearby match held in Kampala. In a pre-Olympic worldwide event held in Montreal at the stop of November 1975, Wasajja received Uganda’s only gold at the venue. Wasajja is incredible for having turn out to be the most useful WBA mild heavyweight contender after he grew to become expert. He misplaced the required championship combat to Michael Spinks, in February 1982. Wasajja in most cases fought in Europe and his boxing record is quite fantastic. After Spinks, Wasajja lost his subsequent two fights and thereafter retired from boxing. Wasajja is one among Uganda’s greatest boxers.

Just as had befell in the preceding Commonwealth Games, the reigning heavyweight champion Benson Masanda of Uganda was directly placed inside the quarter-finals due to the fact there were no longer many contenders within the elegance. On January twenty eighth Masanda outpointed Fisi Brown of New Zealand. In the semi-finals, the referee stopped the bout in desire of legendary Nigerian Fatai Ayinla, an Olympian who had gained the mild heavyweight gold at the previous Commonwealth Games. Masanda became consequently made to step down for the bronze medal. In flip, the referee could forestall the bout in choose of Neville Meade, within the finals. Fatai Ayinla-Adekunle’s accolades consist of the heavyweight gold medal at the 1973 All-Africa Games in Lagos, and a bronze medal at the 1974 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Havana. He boxed for Nigeria for many years.

Uganda’s different medals were received at the tune. Uganda’s Silver Ayoo (46.07), narrowly beaten by using Kenyan mythical Olympic gold medallist Charles Asati (46.04), received the silver medal inside the 400 meters. Uganda’s 4 x 400m relay crew received the bronze medal, in the back of Kenya (gold) and England. The relay competition were William Santino Dralu, Pius Olowo, Silver Ayoo, and John Kakonge.

The Final Tally
At Commonwealth Games of 1970, held in Edinburgh, Uganda’s three boxing gold medals have been received with the aid of mild flyweight James Odwori, light welterweight Mohamed Muruli, and heavyweight Benson Masanda; and the 2 silver medals have been won through flyweight Leo Rwabwogo, and featherweight Deogratias Musoke. Uganda did not win any bronze medals here.

In 1974 in Christchurch, the two gold medals had been received with the aid of lightweight Ayub Kalule and light welterweight Mohamed Muruli; the three silver medals have been gained through light flyweight James Odwori, bantamweight Ali Rojo, and featherweight Shadrach Odhiambo; and the 2 bronze medals have been gained by using flyweight John Byaruhanga and heavyweight Benson Masanda.

Hence, whilst Uganda gained slightly greater boxing medals in 1974, the medals in 1970 subtly carried “extra weight.” For those 8 years, Uganda had the first-rate beginner boxers amongst the Nations of the British Commonwealth. Additionally, at each of the Commonwealth Games venues, Ugandan music athletes completed second and 1/3 (William Koskei–four hundred meter-hurdles and Judith Ayaa–400m, respectively in 1970, and Silver Ayoo–400m and Silver Ayoo, William Santino Dralu, Pius Olowo and John Kakonge–the 4 x 400m relay, respectively in 1974). In 1970 Uganda completed twelfth typical in music and discipline athletics; Australia, England, and Scotland had been the pinnacle 3 international locations. Similarly, in 1974 Uganda finished twelfth usual in track and subject athletics; however England, Australia, and Kenya were the pinnacle three international locations. The usual performances of Uganda at every of the Commonwealth Games venues had been as a result strikingly comparable. Uganda has in no way carried out better than that on the Commonwealth Games, ever because the ones 1970’s.

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