By Thomas Odongo
Uganda has now competed in fifteen Commonwealth Games since 1954 with the latest being the Gold Coast Games that came to a close on Sunday, 15th April, 2018 in Australia.
Unlike the Olympic Games where Uganda has always sent a very slim contingent, Commonwealth Games is always largely graced by Uganda’s various Olympic sporting disciplines.
As the editions go by, Uganda has always seen themselves rise via medal ranks in the Commonwealth Games and the Gold Coast Games in particular have raised Uganda to the top 15 out of the 75 nations that grace this glamorous show piece.
Before the Gold Coast Games, Uganda was 18th on the medal table as per the all-time medals tally and by Sunday, they had risen to the 15th after Solomon Mutai won silver.
Medal break down
Since 1954, Uganda now has 16 Gold medals, 16 Silver and 23 Bronze of silverware. In the 2018 Commonwealth Games alone, Uganda gunned three Gold medals, two Bronze and one Silver.
It is also the first time ever Uganda has won three gold medals at a single Commonwealth Games event.
Long distance runner, Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei bagged two gold medals at the men’s finals of the 5,000m and 10,000m respectively while Stella Chesang also won gold at the ladies 10,000m finals.
Light flyweight kick boxer, Juma Miiro won bronze at the men’s 46-49 kg semi-finals while runner, Mercyline Chelengat won bronze at the ladies 10,000m finals.
Mutai seals it
Runner, Solomon Mutai summed up Uganda’s successful outing with a silver medal during the men’s marathon on the closing day.
Uganda won six pieces of silverware in Gold Coast which was also their best ever in the at the event.
Worth noting is that, all Uganda’s Commonwealth Games medals have been won by boxers and runners with the other sports disciplines struggling to progress.
Runners, boxers tie at eight
Uganda’s boxers have now won eight Gold medals at the Commonwealth Games while runners/athletes have also bagged eight.
Boxers have also bagged 10 silver medals at the Commonwealth do while runners have pocketed six medals.
The two sports disciplines also share 23 bronze medals among themselves while other sports disciplines seem to be escorts.
George Oywello, James Odwori, Mohamed Murli, Benson Masanda and others are among Ugandan boxers to have ever bagged gold in the Commonwealth Games.
In the other corner, Dorcus Inzikuru, Boniface Kiprop, Moses Kipsiro (3), Stella Chesang and Joshua Cheptegei (2) have all bagged gold at the Commonwealth games.
With Uganda climbing the ladders during every edition, the 2022 showpiece that is due in Birmingham will be another talking point as Uganda seeks to keep their flag flying high.
However, Commonwealth Games is Uganda’s most successful tournament as compared to the Summer Olympic Games.
Uganda has only won two gold medals, three silver and two bronze at the Summer Olympics ever since 1956 save the 1976 Olympics which they boycotted, but have never taken part in the Winter Olympics.