The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Okoth-Ochola has hailed the role played by his predecessor, IGP Emeritus Gen Kale Kayihura in “revamping sports in the police in the year 2012.”
But beyond that, IGP Ochola August 9 said “the story of how we got to the Olympics and achieved the spectacular accomplishments was as a result of his (Kayihura) strategic guidance.”
“I am extremely delighted about the spectacular performance by our athletes,” IGP Ochola said of double 2020 Olympics medallist Joshua Cheptegei, women’s 3,000m steeplechase champion Peruth Chemutai and then men’s 10, 000m bronze placed Jacob Kiplimo.
Glorious performances from the trio clinched four medals for the nation at the event as it ranked 36th worldwide, but falling 2nd behind Kenya on the African continental block- cementing Uganda’s contingent at this year’s games as the ‘golden generation.’
Mr Kayihura who left a divided legacy while at Police’s helm- had Sunday cast praise at the “Tokyo 2020 Olympics heroes for fulfilling beyond his wildest dream.”
“I challenged them that one day we must share the Olympics gold and other medals with the legendary Kenyan athletes across the border. Its sometime back but I’m sure they remember,” he said in a statement.
Furthering his remarks, IGP Ochola further conveyed appreciation to all other athletes that represented Uganda during the Tokyo games that ended August 8- with assurance on affairs in France 2024.
“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 ,” he disclosed.
IP Cheptegei ran down the Olympic stadium in 12:58.15 to win gold in the men’s 5,000m race, sparking national debate over his ascension to perhaps the country’s greatest athlete of all time.
Police products account for some four of Uganda’s cumulative 11 medals since her inaugural participation in the games, 1956.
“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,” he noted.
According to Mr Ochola, deserved privileges await Uganda’s first-ever female Olympics gold medallist SPC Chemutai and her counterpart.
“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,” he stated.