NewAfrican: “At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, a then unknown 23-year-old Ugandan athlete, John Akii-Bua, surprised the world by becoming the first man to run the 400m hurdles in under 48 seconds. In the process, he beat the much-fancied David Emery of Britain, the then Olympic champion, into third place. But it was not all sweetness from then on. The vicissitudes of Akii-Bua’s life have been captured in a documentary film shown recently in Uganda.”
Lira—28, November 2021: According to NewAfrican publication, on 2 September 1972, in the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Akii-Bua was drawn in Lane One for the 400m hurdles.
At 4.31pm local time, the same publication reported that he won the gold medal in an “astonishing new world record time of 47.82 sec, three-tenths of a second” under the world mark set by Britain’s Hemery in the 1968 Mexico Olympics. The silver went to the American Ralph Mann (48.51 sec), the bronze to Hemery (48.52 sec).
Twenty-four years after his death, Akii Bua’s granddaughter Adongo Godwin Harambee has vowed to keep the late grandfather’s ‘world record alive’.
The upcoming and promising middle-distance runner is 10 years old.
She took part in 2018 national primary athletics competition in Apac and shocked the nation by winning all her races: 1500m and 5000m, respectively.
Adongo says she is inspired by Ethiopian international Gonzabe Dibaba and Kenya’s Hellen Obiri.
Her father, Patrick Okodi Harambee is pleased. She is training from Lira under the supervision of her coaches, Abudala Hamed and Odero Denise, according to Okodi.
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“I have a promise to Lango and [nation] Uganda to bring back the Gold in once again since my grandfather, John Akii Bua in 1972,” she told TND News.
Harambee is a pupil of Lira central primary school, and she is in primary four.