Uganda competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which was held from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The country's participation there marked its thirteenth appearance in the Summer Olympics since its début at the 1956 Summer Olympics. The delegation consisted of eleven track and field athletes that included Moses Ndiema Kipsiro, Benjamin Kiplagat, and Stephen Kiprotich, one each in badminton and weightlifting (Edwin Ekiring and Charles Ssekyaaya), and two swimmers (Ganzi Mugula and Jamila Lunkuse). Ekiring, Ssekyaaya, Mugula, and Lunkuse had qualified through wildcard places, while the rest of the delegation satisfied the Games' qualification standards for their respective events. Mugula was selected as the flag bearer for both the opening and closing ceremonies.
Julius Mutekanga was eliminated in the first round of the 800 metres while Abraham Kiplimo and Geofrey Kusuro similarly were unable to advance to final of the 5000 metres after finishing in a non-qualifying position. Jacob Araptany also did not progress to the final in the 3000 metres steeplechase while Kiplagat advanced to the later stages of the same event before being disqualified for changing to the track's inside line after being knocked over by another athlete. Kispiro made it to the 5000 metres final as the slowest qualifier and secured a fifteenth-place finish, and took a tenth-position result in the 10,000 metres despite falling onto the track's surface. Thomas Ayeko finished in sixteenth in the same event. Kiprotich won the men's marathon, securing Uganda's first gold medal since 1972.
Janet Achola and Dorcus Inzikuru were unable to advance beyond the first rounds of their respective events, the 1500 metres and 3000 metres steeplechase. Jane Suuto finished in 93rd position in the women's marathon.
Ekiring participated in men's badminton singles where he was defeated by Brice Leverdez and Wong Wing Ki, which meant he was unable to advance beyond the group stage. Mugula and Lunkense were both unable to progress further than the heat stages of their respective events, while Ssekyaaya finished in 14th place in the men's 62 kilogram weightlifting discipline.
Uganda participated in thirteen Olympic Games between its début at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, missing only the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, because of a boycott relating to the New Zealand national rugby union team touring South Africa. The highest number of athletes sent by Uganda to an Olympic Games is 33 to the 1972 Munich Games. Seven Ugandan athletes have won medals at the Summer Olympic Games. Uganda would participate in the London Summer Olympics from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The Ugandan National Olympic Committee (NOC) selected fifteen athletes via qualification standards. An NOC would be able to enter up to three qualified athletes in each individual event as long as each athlete met the "A" standard, or one athlete per event if they met the "B" standard.
Fifteen athletes were selected to represent Uganda at the London Games. They were Jacob Araptany and Benjamin Kiplagat in the men's 3000 metres steeplechase, Thomas Ayeko in the men's 10,000 metres, Abraham Kiplimo and Geofrey Kusuro in the men's 5000 metres, Julius Mutekanga in the men's 800 metres, Stephen Kiprotich in the men's marathon and Moses Kipsiro participated in the men's 5000 and 10,000 metres disciplines. Other athletes chosen were Janet Achola in the women's 1500 metres, Dorcus Inzikuru in the women's 3000 metres steeplechase, Jane Suuto in the women's marathon, Edwin Ekiring in the men's badminton singles, Ganzi Mugula in the men's 50 metre freestyle, Jamila Lunkuse in the women's 50 metre freestyle and Charles Ssekyaaya in the men's 62 kilogram weightlifting event. Middle-distance runner Annet Negesa was due to compete in the women's 800 metres but withdrew because of an achilles tendon injury. For the first time since 1956, Uganda did not qualify athletes in boxing. Mugula was selected as the flag bearer for both the opening and closing ceremonies. The country's delegation was led by its vice-president Edward Ssekandi, and the Ugandan NOC technical vice-president Dennis Galabuzi who served as their chef de mission to help increase morale among their athletes.
|Gold||Stephen Kiprotich||Athletics||Men's marathon||12 August|
Competing at his first Olympic Games, Julius Mutekanga qualified for the London Games via qualification standards because his fastest time of one minute, 46.30 seconds, recorded at the 2011 Ninove Memorial Geert Rasschaert, met the "B" qualifying standard for his event, the 800 metres. In an interview with New York Press before the Games he said he promised to ensure that he would make the best of his participation: "When you’re running, you’re looking at improving your personal best time, so it doesn’t matter whether you win or not. As long as you’re running faster and faster, that’s the ultimate goal." Mutekanga took part in the first round's seventh heat on 6 August, finishing fifth out of eight athletes, with a time of one minute and 48.41 seconds. He ranked ahead of Moise Joseph from Haiti (one minute and 48.46 seconds) and Equatorial Guinea's Benjamín Enzema (one minute and 57.47 seconds) in a heat led by Duane Solomon of the United States (one minute and 46.05 seconds). Overall Mutekanga finished 35th out of 52 athletes,[n 1] and was 2.06 seconds slower than the slowest competitor in his heat who advanced to the semi-final and, therefore, that was the end of his competition.
Jacob Araptany was the youngest competitor to represent Uganda in the athletics discipline at the London Olympics, aged 18. He had not participated in any previous Olympic Games. Araptany had intended to take part in the men's 1500 metres and the 3000 metres steeplechase, but after consultation with the Ugandan coach, he elected to participate in the latter event because of the close time frame between the two events. He qualified for the Games because his fastest time of eight minutes and 14.48 seconds, set at the 2011 Golden Gala, exceeded the required "A" standard entry time. He was drawn in the event's second heat on 3 August, finishing seventh out of twelve runners, with a time of eight minutes and 35.85 seconds. He finished ahead of France's Vincent Zouaoui-Dandrieaux (eight minutes and 36.96 seconds) and Kyle Alcorn of the United States (eight minutes and 37.11 seconds) in a heat led by Brimin Kipruto of Kenya (eight minutes and 28.62 seconds). Araptany finished 25th out of 37 competitors overall,[n 2] and did not progress into the final because his time was 6.73 slower than the slowest runner in his heat who made the later stages.
At the age of 23, Benjamin Kiplagat was competing in his second Olympic Games. Like Araptany he qualified for the men's 3000 metres steeplechase because his best time of eight minutes and 3.81 seconds, recorded at the 2010 Athletissima, met the "A" qualifying standard. Kiplagat said that he wanted to finish in a podium position in the event and revealed that he was not worried about wet-weather conditions affecting his performance. He took part in the event's first heat on 3 August, finishing sixth out of 13 runners, with a time of eight minutes and 18.44 seconds. Kiglagat held the lead in the heat's early stage although he stumbled over the steeple in the penultimate lap but was able to regain his balance and finished at a reduced pace. Nevertheless, his time allowed him to qualify for the event's final. In the final, held two days later, Kiplagat fell and injured his knee after he was reportedly pushed by another athlete, and moved to the inside line while changing his tactics to remain away from the lead pack. He was initially recorded as finishing 14th out of 15 runners with a time of eight minutes and 47.85 seconds, but was disqualified for his inside line change.
Geoffrey Kusuro's participation in the London Olympic Games marked his début in the quadrennial event at the age of 23. He attained qualification to the Games because his fastest time of 13 minutes and 12.32 seconds, set at the 2011 Míting Internacional d´Atletisme Ciutat de Barcelona, exceeded the "A" qualifying standard for his event, the 5000 metres. Kusuro was drawn in the first heat of the event on 8 August, finishing 18th out of 20 athletes, with a time of 13 minutes and 59.74 seconds. He finished in front of Hussain Jamaan Alhamdah from Saudi Arabia (14 minutes and 0.43 seconds) and Rene Herrera of the Philippines (14 minutes and 44.11 seconds) but behind Ukraine's Serhiy Lebid (13 minutes and 53.15 seconds) in a heat led by Hayle Ibrahimov of Azerbaijan (13 minutes and 25.23 seconds). Overall Kusuro finished 38th out of 42 runners,[n 3] and did not advance into the final because his time was 33.58 seconds behind the slowest runner who progressed to the later stages.
At the time of the 2012 London Summer Games Abraham Kiplimo was 23 years old and was making his first appearance in the quadrennial event. He obtained qualification to the Games because his fastest time, set at the 2011 Míting Internacional d´Atletisme Ciutat de Barcelona, of 13 minutes and 10.40 seconds was within the "A" qualifying standard. Kiplimo took part in the event's second heat on 8 August, finishing 15th out of 21 competitors, with a time of 13 minutes and 31.57 seconds. He finished ahead of Craig Mottram of Australia (13 minutes and 40.24 seconds), Alistair Cragg from Ireland (13 minutes and 47.01 seconds) but was behind Algeria's Rabah Aboud (13 minutes and 28.38 seconds). Kiplimo was 16.42 seconds behind the heat winner Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia (13 minutes and 15.15 seconds). He finished 24th out of 42 athletes overall, and was 5.41 seconds slower than the slowest runner who progressed to the final and was eliminated from contention.
Moses Kipsiro was the only runner in the men's 5000 metres to have competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He qualified for the Games because his best time of 12 minutes and 59.27 seconds, set at the 2009 Weltklasse Zürich, was 20.73 seconds faster than the "A" qualifying standard for this event. Three months before the Games started Kipsiro stated that he took the year the Olympics were held as "special" and was motivated for the event. He participated in the event's second heat on 8 August, finishing seventh out of 21 runners, with a time of 13 minutes and 17.68 seconds. Kipsiro finished in front of Cameron Levins from Canada (13 minutes and 18.29 seconds) and Mexico's Juan Luis Barrios (13 minutes and 21.01 seconds) but behind Galen Rupp of the United States (13 minutes and 17.56 seconds). His finishing position allowed him to qualify for the final. In the final, Kipsiro finished 15th (and last), with a time of 13 minutes and 52.25 seconds and was 10.59 seconds behind gold medallist Mo Farah of Great Britain (13 minutes and 41.66 seconds).
Kipsiro also participated in the men's 10,000 metres and this was the first time he had taken part in the event at the Olympic Games. He qualified for the event by setting a fastest time of 27 minutes and 4.48 seconds at the 2012 British Athletics Grand Prix which was 40.52 seconds quicker than the "A" qualification standard. In the race, held on 4 August, he stumbled and fell onto the track surface after seven minutes and 36 seconds. His foot was stepped on by another competitor while running in the middle of the pack with Kipsiro sustaining a bruised right hand, and felt pain in his shoulders. Kipsiro was able to continue and finished tenth out of 26 athletes overall,[n 4] with a time of 27 minutes and 39.22 seconds. He ranked behind Gebregziabher Gebremariam of Ethiopia (27 minutes and 36.34 seconds) and Turkey's Polat Kemboi Arıkan (27 minutes and 38.81 seconds) but ahead of Canada's Cameron Levins (27 minutes and 40.68 seconds). He finished 8.80 seconds behind the gold medallist Mo Farah of Great Britain.
Thomas Ayeko, at the age of 20, was making his first appearance at the Olympic Games. He was able to qualify for the Games by recording a time of 27 minutes and 43.22 seconds at the 2012 British Athletics Grand Prix which was 4.03 seconds faster than the required "A" qualifying standard for the 10,000 metres. In the event, he finished 16th with a time of 27 minutes and 58.96 seconds. Ayeko ranked ahead of Mukhlid Al-Otaibi from Saudi Arabia (28 minutes and 7.25 seconds) and Mohammed Ahmed of Canada (28 minutes and 13.91 seconds) but behind Eritrea's Nguse Tesfaldet Amlosom (27 minutes and 56.78 seconds). He finished 28.54 second behind Farah. Ayeko stated after the race that he was carrying an injury and that the event was "tough".
Stephen Kiprotich was 23 years old at the time of the London Games and it was the first time he had competed in the quadrennial event. He was able to qualify for the Games because his fastest time, set at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon, of two hours, seven minutes and 20 seconds, was faster than the required "A" standard qualifying entry time for the event. In preparation for the marathon Kiprotich spent time training in Kenya's Rift Valley Province alongside long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge. In the event Kenya's Wilson Kipsang was the early leader but missed a drinks stop which saw his lead reduced. Kiprotich later gained on Kipsang and also joined Abel Kirui in a group of three runners until his Kenyan rivals established a small gap. He had held his leg as the gap between himself and the first two runners grew. Kiportich gained the lead after using a large amount of energy leaving a turn on the course and built a 200-metre advantage which he held to win the marathon. He finished with a time of two hours, eight minutes and one second, ahead of Kirui (two hours, eight minutes and 27 seconds) and Kipsang (two hours, nine minutes and 37 seconds). Kiprotich's victory was considered by the media and many people as "surprising" as he had not been expected to win the event. It was the second time Uganda had won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics, the first since John Akii-Bua won the 400 metres hurdles at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, and the seventh medal in the nation's history.
Competing at her first Olympic Games at the age of 24, Janet Achola earned qualification into the Games by posting a time of four minutes and 5.52 seconds, at the 2012 Fanny Blankers-Koen Games on 30 May, which was 0.48 seconds quicker than the "A" qualifying standard for her event, the 1500 metres. She said the training that she received from coach allowed her to achieve success and set herself the objective of securing her first medal at an international event. Achola was drawn in the third heat on 6 August, finishing 11th out of 15th runners, with a time of four minutes and 11.64 seconds. She ranked ahead of Spain's Isabel Macías (four minutes and 13.07 seconds) and Anna Mishchenko from Ukraine (four minutes and 13.63 seconds) but was behind Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia (four minutes and 8.78 seconds). Overall Achola finished 22th out of 44 competitors,[n 5] and was 3.81 seconds slower than the two slowest athletes who progressed to the semi-finals and, therefore, that was the end of her competition.
Dorcus Inzikuru was one of the oldest athletes to compete for Uganda at the London Olympic Games at the age of 30. She was the only one of the team's athletes to have taken part in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Inzikuru gained qualification into the London Games by winning the 3,000 metres steeplechase race at the 2012 International Athletics Bottrop Gala, with a time of nine minutes and 30.95 seconds, which was 12.05 seconds faster than the "A" qualifying standard for the event, and was the last Ugandan athlete to obtain qualification. To prepare herself for the Games she trained in Iten, Kenya. Inzikuru said that if she performed well at the Games it would allowe her to participate in European events after finding it difficult to obtain visa to travel to the continent but did not promise any medals. She was placed in the third heat on 4 August, finishing seventh out of 14 runners, with a time of nine minutes and 35.29 seconds. Inzikuru ranked ahead of Sandra Eriksson of Finland (nine minutes and 50.71 seconds) and Great Britain's Eilish McColgan (nine minutes and 54.36 seconds) but behind Ancuța Bobocel from Romania (nine minutes and 31.06 seconds) in a heat led by Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia (nine minutes and 24.01 seconds). She finished 20th out of 44 runners overall,[n 6] and did not advance to the semi-finals because her time was 5.43 seconds slower than the slowest competitor in her heat who progressed to the later stages.
Jane Suuto was the joint oldest person to represent Uganda at the London Games at the age of 33. She had not entered any previous Summer Olympics. Sutto qualified for the Games because she achieved a third-place finish at the 2012 Riga Marathon with a time of two hours, 42 minutes and seven seconds, that met the "B" qualifying standard for her event, the women's marathon. In an interview with New Vision before she competed Suuto said: "I will not promise a medal but I will go out there to offer my best and whatever God offers me. I will take it with both hands. I will go out there and fight." In the event held on 5 August, she finished 93rd out of 107 athletes, with a time of two hours, 44 minutes and 46 seconds. Suuto ranked ahead of Yolimar Pineda of Venezuela (two hours, 45 minutes and 16 seconds) and Anikó Kálovics from Hungary (two hours, 45 minutes and 55 seconds) but was behind Kálovics's fellow countrywoman Zsófia Erdélyi (two hours, 44 minutes and 45 seconds). Suuto finished 21 minutes and 39 seconds behind event winner Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia (two hours, 23 minutes and seven seconds).[n 7]
|Jacob Araptany||3000 m steeplechase||8:35.85||7||N/A||Did not advance|
|Thomas Ayeko||10000 m||N/A||27:58.96||16|
|Benjamin Kiplagat||3000 m steeplechase||8:18.44||6 q||N/A||DSQ|
|Abraham Kiplimo||5000 m||13:31.57||15||N/A||Did not advance|
|Moses Kipsiro||5000 m||13:17.68||7 q||N/A||13:52.25||15|
|Geoffrey Kusuro||5000 m||13:59.74||18||N/A||Did not advance|
|Julius Mutekanga||800 m||1:48.41||5||Did not advance|
|Janet Achola||1500 m||4:11.64||11||Did not advance|
|Dorcus Inzikuru||3000 m steeplechase||9:35.29||7||N/A||Did not advance|
Edwin Ekiring was the sole representative for Uganda in the men's singles for Badminton. He was 28 years old and had competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Ekiring qualified for the Games because he was granted the automatic qualification slot for one player in the African continent partly due to him being placed 98 in the BWF World Ranking in May 2012. He said that his experiences in previous Olympic Games would aid him in progressing up the world rankings. On 28 July, Ekiring played against Brice Leverdez of France in the group stage, whom he lost against in the first round 12–21 and was defeated by his opponment 11–21 in the second round in a 26-minute match. Ekiring's next game was against Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki two days later whom he lost against in a 26-minute match, scoring ten points while his opponent reached 21 points. He was also defeated in his second round match with a 13-point deficit to Wing Ki and, therefore, he was eliminated from the competition.
|Athlete||Event||Group Stage||Elimination||Quarterfinal||Semifinal||Final / BM|
|Edwin Ekiring||Men's singles|| Wong W K (HKG)
L 10–21, 8–21
| Leverdez (FRA)
L 12–21, 11–21
|3||Did not advance|
Ganzi Mugula, who at the age of 33 was participating in his first Olympic Games, was notable for carrying the flag of Uganda in the opening and closing ceremonies. He attempted to qualify for the previous three Olympic Games but did not succeed, but made the London Summer Games via a universality place awarded by FINA because his best time of 27.51 seconds did not reach the "A" or "B" standard entry times for his event, the men's 50 metre freestyle. Mugula was drawn in the second heat on 2 August, finishing fifth out of eight swimmers, with a time of 27.58 seconds. He ranked ahead of Cameroon's Edingue Ekane (27.87 seconds) and Mulualem Girma of Ethiopia (28.99 seconds) but behind Jackson Niyomugabo from Rwanda (27.38 seconds) in a heat led by Djibouti's Abdourahman Osman (27.25 seconds). Overall he finished 53rd out of 58 swimmers, and was unable to advance to the semi-finals after being 5.11 seconds slower than the slowest competitor who progressed to the later stages. After the event Mugula said: "I felt this time I was fitter. I think psychologically I put too much pressure on myself. But it's OK, I'm not disappointed. I'm an Olympian, that's what counts. It's worth all the effort. Medal or no medal, I'm a winner"
Jamila Lunkuse was the youngest person to represent Uganda at the London Games at the age of 15. Like Mugula she qualified for the Games via a FINA awarded her a universality place because her fastest time of 28.34 seconds was not within the "A" or "B" qualifying standard times for her event, the women's 50 metre freestyle. Mugula stated that while the swimmer had talent, obtaining a medal would be "a tough call" because of her age and inexperience. Lunkuse took part in the event's fifth heat on 2 August, finishing eighth and last of all swimmers, with a time of 28.44 seconds. She finished behind Talita Baqlah of Jordan (27.45 seconds) and Faye Sultan from Kuwait (27.92 seconds) in a heat led by Lithuania's Rūta Meilutytė (25.55 seconds). Lunkuse finished 52nd out of 73 swimmers,[n 8] and did not advance into the semi-finals because her time was 3.16 seconds slower than the slowest competitor who progressed to the later stages.
|Ganzi Mugula||50 m freestyle||27.58||53||Did not advance|
|Jamila Lunkuse||50 m freestyle||28.44||52||Did not advance|
Charles Ssekyaaya participated on Uganda's behalf in the men's 62 kilogram weightlifting discipline. He was 18 years old and had not participated in any previous Olympic Games. Ssekyaaya qualified for the Games after receiving a wildcard from the International Weightlifting Federation after achieving a 28th-place finish in the Africa Olympic Qualifiers. His event took place on 31 July, and included 14 athletes in total. During the event's snatch phase, Ssekyaaya was given three attempts. He successfully attempted to lift over 90 kilograms of weight in his first two attempts, but did not achieve this objective on the third attempt. Ssekyaaya then attempted 130 kilograms during the clean and jerk phrase of the event, successfully lifting it on his first attempt. He did not succeed in lifting 135 kilograms on his second attempt, or 140 on his third. Overall, the combination of Ssekyaaya's highest scores in snatch (105) and clean and jerk (130) yielded a score of 235 points. He ranked 13th in the event,[n 9] ahead of Stevick Patris from Palau (234 points) and behind Tuau Lapua Lapua of Tuvalu (243 points). Ssekyaaya was 92 points behind the gold medallist Kim Un-guk from North Korea.
|Athlete||Event||Snatch||Clean & Jerk||Total||Rank|
|Charles Ssekyaaya||Men's −62 kg||105||14||130||13||235||13|
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