John Akii-Bua: Attempt to Smash the Hurdles World Record in Africa and the Renaming of Stanley Road


John Akii-Bua of Uganda was advanced by the tyrant Idi Amin Dada to Assistant Inspector of the Police Force and the primary Kampala street named after eminent Welsh-American swashbuckler officer traveler writer Henry Morton Stanley was re-named by the tyrant to “Akii-Bua Road.” This was just a brief time after Akii had decreased the 400 meters-obstacles world record to 47.82 seconds at the Olympics in Munich toward the beginning of September 1972. Among numerous different things, Henry Stanley is famous for commending Uganda as the “Pearl of Africa.” Indeed, Henry Stanley would regularly announce or suggest that he was the absolute first to append the term to Uganda.

“… ‘Pearl of Africa’… I applied that… term to Uganda… Many… explorers… represent the term by showing the ripeness of the dirt and the assortment of its items; yet truly the term appropriately outlines the prevalent estimation of Uganda in light of its crowdedness, the knowledge of its kin, its essential situation for business, and for spreading Christianity- – all of which make it pre-prominently an attractive state for an exchanging and humanizing country like our own [England]” (Stanley 1895: 719-720).

In January 1973, 23 year-old Akii-Bua, still new out of Munich and still vigorously praised broadly, was currently in Nigeria notwithstanding an energized high limit swarm prepared to observe the exhibition of the principal African to actually win and build up a Gossipfunda history in a particularly specialized and tiresome occasion. The VIPs who went to the track occasion incorporated Nigeria’s leader General Yakubu Gowon. The 400 meters-leaps that requires speed, timing, and bouncing over is as yet alluded to as the “man-executioner.”

On January eleventh in Lagos at the Second All-Africa Games, in a 400mh semi-last warmth, a casual Akii took as much time as is needed and still won in 50.7. He was exceptionally sure that, in spite of the nonattendance of the top elite contenders that he had looked at the Olympics, he would have really broken his own reality record on the off chance that he had given it the exertion and the strategy. He commented, “I ran six obstacles with a 13-steps example and afterward slice down to 14-15 steps in the last 200 meters… at max throttle, I would have broken the 48 seconds mark” (AAP-Reuters: 1973).

Akii-Bua would likewise express that he had found out such a huge amount about procedure and impeccably timing the obstacles from his empowering companion and jumping pro David (Dave) Hemery of Britain who is viewed as probably the best hurdler ever. In 1968 at the Olympics in Mexico City, Hemery set up a world record (48.12) in the finals of the 400mh. Hemery completed almost a second in front of the silver medallist Gerhard Hennige of West Germany. Hemery was third at the Olympics in Munich. In Lagos, Akii likewise told that he was hit with jungle fever, a half year before the Olympics in Munich (AAP-Reuters: 1973).

The finals’ setup for the 400mh in Lagos prominently included William (Bill) Koskei of Kenya who as an outsider had sought Uganda and quite won a silver award in the occasion at the 1970 Commonwealth Games held in Edinburgh. Akii was fourth at that point. In any case, in 1971 in Durham in North Carolina at a USA versus Africa meet, Akii in winning beat Koskei and others and set up a world-driving season of 49 seconds. It was then that the games world looked at the evidently loose and going great hurdler Akii-Bua as a strong competitor for the gold in the approaching Olympics in Munich. Koskei was additionally viewed as an Olympic decoration trust, yet he would in Munich finish fourth in the first round warmth, and subsequently be disposed of. Akii, then again, won in the entirety of his three warms, remembering the finals for which he set a world precedent.

Not at all like the Munich Olympics in which Akii was attracted the disadvantageous deepest “tight” paths, in Lagos at the finals, he was set in a center path – which is simpler to explore through. The weapon went off in Lagos and Akii burst out quick. He appeared to marginally unwind and back off after the last corner, at that point unexpectedly get a move on. Days after the fact, Akii would comment that he for sure eased back down yet that when he gazed upward in the stands at the upbeat and brilliant formally dressed dignitaries that incorporated the Nigerian President Gowon, he chose to run quicker. He didn’t need to since he was well in front of the remainder of the field. Akii-Bua won in an astounding 48.54 seconds. In spite of the fact that Akii had not accomplished his grand objective of destroying his own reality record, the time would be the world’s best in the 400mh in 1973, and it stays among the best ever ran on African soil. Almost two seconds behind, William Koskei was second (50.22) in a close finish with Silver Ayoo (50.25) of Uganda who won the bronze decoration.

Generally, Uganda was fourth at the All-Africa Games in Lagos, and that presentation wherein the country won numerous decorations (solely in olympic style events and boxing) is as yet Uganda’s best ever at these Games. Uganda wound up with 8 gold awards, 6 silver decorations, and 6 bronze decorations, setting Uganda fourth generally behind Egypt, Nigeria, and Kenya, individually.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *