By J.M.Okoth-Ochola (Esq)
I wish to congratulate all police athletes who represented our country Uganda at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics that were concluded on the 8th August 2021.
I must say that I am extremely delighted about the spectacular performance by our athletes, where athletes from the police won an astonishing 3 medals, including 2 golds and a silver. The medals helped put our country, Uganda at number 36 out of 205 countries, and the 2nd best in Africa, above countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, Ethiopia etc.
I want to personally thank IP Joshua Cheptegei, who pulled off two incredible performances, to become a double medalist, with gold in the 5000m race, and a silver in the 10.000m race. And also greatly thank SPC Peruth Chemutai , who made history and became the first female police athlete to win a gold medal, when she won it in the 3000m steeple chase.
I thank you for emulating our fallen hero, the late SSP John Akii-Bua, who was the first athlete to win gold for Uganda at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich, when he won the 400 meters hurdles. He was also from Police.
To all the other athletes who represented the country, but fell short of the medals, I do thank them too, and ask them not to give up.
We are aware the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were challenging due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. You however, managed to inspire us when you showed how committed, dedicated, resilient, determined and hard working you were, that enabled you to excel at the highest level of competition. I also want to thank the hard work of all the coaches, staff under the Sports Department and the commitment from the Government of Uganda.
My special thanks go to IGP Emeritus General Kale Kayihura for revamping sports in the police in the year 2012. The story of how we got to the Olympics and achieved the spectacular accomplishments, was as a result of his strategic guidance. I congratulate him too.
As I conclude, I would like to reassure all athletes that there is a bright future of sports in the police. We want to continue to invest in identifying young talent across all sports disciplines and grow them. My Director for Welfare and Sports is going to straight away start preparations for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France, where we anticipate a bigger number of police officers representing our country Uganda.
Am also going to fast-track the promotions of the athletes with the Police Authority and the Police Council. Am happy we fulfilled our promise and availed the athletes with a double Cabin Pick-Up and minibus for ease of their movement.
Once again congratulations.
The writer is the Inspector General of Police