2021 was a remarkable sporting year for Uganda. The athletics contingent excelled at delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
At this year’s coronavirus pandemic delayed games, Uganda won four medals for the first time at a single Olympic event.
On August 4th, Peruth Chemutai surprised many when she became Uganda’s first-ever female Olympic champion after winning the 3,000m steeplechase at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
Many had their hopes of a first Olympic medal by a Uganda female in 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi but it was Chemutai.
Chemutai timed 9min 01.45sec, outsprinting American Courtney Frerichs with 250 metres to run her name into history.
Cheptegei didn’t disappoint as he scooped gold in the 5000m and silver in 10000m at the National Stadium in the Japanese capital.
On 30th July, Cheptegei needed to surge from sixth to painfully settle for silver in the 10000m race. He posted a time of 27:43.63 to finish behind Ethiopian Selemon Barega who won gold in 27:43.22.
In the 5000m race on 6th August, the current best long distance global runner rose to win the gold in a stellar 12:58.15.
Cheptegei also became the first Ugandan to win two medals at a single Olympic event. His astonishing performances also sealed his status as the greatest athlete that Uganda has ever produced eclipsing Stephen Kiprotich and John Akii-Bua among others.
Jacob Kiplimo also settled for bronze medal in the 10000m race bronze in 27:43.88.
Kiplimo finished the year impressively when he broke the Half Marathon world record in Lisbon in Portugal on November, 21st.
He posted a WR time of 57 minutes and 31 seconds break Kandie Kibiwott (Kenya) previous record by a second.
The sensational runner also became the third Ugandan in history after Cheptegei and John Akii-Bua to hold a World Record in global athletics.