john akii-bua

Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

John Akii-Bua

John Akii-Bua

After 40 Years Uganda gained its second gold medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Below is the story of the men who earned gold for their country.

(Aug 16)

I saw this link to this brilliant Documentary from a friend who shared it. It tells the tragic story of an Olympic icon John Akii-Bua the first man to break 48 seconds in the 400 Hurdles and Uganda’s first Olympic gold medalist (only recently did Uganda gain its second gold this Olympics in the Men’s Marathon). He was also the first African to win anything under 800m.

Akii-Bua courage inspired future stars such as Edwin Moses (1976-1984) Olympic Champion. Without giving away too much of the video I will give some background John Akii-Bua was from Uganda, we look back at the late 60s and early 70s when he partnered with a young upcoming English coach named Malcolm Arnold.

Towards the end of his career, Uganda was taken over by Genocidal (mass killings) crazed Dictator Idi Amin. John Akii-Bua died in 1993 the circumstances are still not known.

Malcolm Arnold is still active in British Athletics coaching and went on to train Colin Jackson, Craig Pickering, and Dai Greene among others, but to date, his first student is still his greatest.




By Andrew Pirie

Andrew was elected Vice President of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians in 2020 after being a member for 7 years. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant, and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And Currently is Consultant Coach with VMUF 2021- Current editor and chief of, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is  Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles. Currently working towards a Masters Degree in Education. He can be contacted on [email protected] You can find more information on Coaching here

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