John Akii-Bua: Olympic Time

1972 Summer Olympics: Munich, Germany

August 31, 1972; Twenty-two-year-old John Akii-Bua (50.35 seconds) won the fourth of the top five of the 400-meter First Round. Stavros Tziortzis (50.54s) who earlier this year beat the sick Akii in second place, in a European meet, finished second (50.54). The Olympic medal hopes that William (Bill) Koskei of Kenya, who won a silver medal for Uganda at the United Nations Games in Edinburgh in 1970, was disappointed and finished fourth (50.58) in the second round of this Round One. Koskei was eliminated in the run-up to the final. Three finalists in one in five, and one in a timely manner, advanced to the Semi-Final Round of sixteen.

On September 1, 1972, Akii (49.25 seconds) won the first warm-up spot. It is noteworthy that in this heat, Akii-Bua was drawn in line 2 to compete with two other top prize winners: former British Olympic champion David Peter Hemery and world record holder; and Ralph Mann of the United States who had a world record in the Middle Ages and was ranked first in the world at the event. Akii-Bua stunned Ralph Vernon Mann (49.53) and Dave Hemery (49.66). Here, Akii-Bua fled with these arch opponents for the first time. Akii-Bua’s confidence that he will succeed, was strengthened. The top four finishers in one of the Semi-Final heats were the last. Akii-Bua aims to break the world record in about a second.

On September 2, 1972, Akii (47.82 seconds), without a hitch 1, won the final match of the new Olympic and World record. He became the first man to officially run a race in less than 48 seconds. In the photo final, Ralph Mann (48.51) was second and Dave Hemery (48.52) won bronze. Forty years later Akii still holds the Uganda record of 47.82; And this is one of the best times ever written by an African founder. Akii remains the only Olympic gold medal winner in Africa; the only African to have Olympic gold in the under-800m track.

Summer Olympics 1976: Montreal, Canada

In July 1976 in Montreal, Uganda hosted the Olympics, along with 30 countries, mostly African countries. The victory was beyond the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that did not close New Zealand at the Olympics after the NZ national rugby team visited apartheid South Africa earlier this year. Akii-Bua had trained hard, and in the same year he set a good record with the Uganda record in the 400m flat. He was looking forward to defending his Olympic title. Rapid improvement Edwin Moses of the United States was the most popular nationwide among middle-class riders. Moses would win gold at the Olympics and destroy Uganda’s record. It is also noteworthy that in the third week of June 1976, Akii-Bua’s thigh (left leg) ruptured. This injury may reduce the chances of competition or doing well at the 1976 Olympics.

Summer Olympics in 1980: Moscow, Soviet Union

At the Olympics, on July 24, 1980 at the Grand Arena in the Central Lenin Stadium Area in Moscow, 30-year-old Akii-Bua was placed in the first three heaters in the First Round of 400 meters. The first four leaders in each heat, and the next four and the fastest seasons will advance to the last 16 rounds. Akii-Bua (50.87), long ago his fifth chariot. After all three of these heats, times were found, and Akii-Bua was able to advance to the final game. Notably, more than sixty countries including the United States, most of whom met to protest the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, did not compete in Moscow. Competition has been greatly reduced.

July 25, 1980; Uganda (51.10), running in second place in the Semi-Final heats were beaten to seventh place and eliminated to advance to the final. The eight blockers who had the fastest times were the last.

July 31, 1980; Akii-Bua competed in the First Round as part of the 4x400m Ugandan team. Uganda is ranked second out of three. The top two countries decide on each heat, and the next two fast countries will be the last. Uganda (3: 07.0) was fifth and eliminated from advancing in the final round. This would be the last time Akii competes in the Olympics.


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