Judith Ayaa and Athletic Performances: Africa, Commonwealth Video games, Olympics, and Pan Africa-USA Meet

Judith Ayaa and Athletic Performances: Africa, Commonwealth Video games, Olympics, and Pan Africa-USA Meet

Judith Ayaa was born on July 15, 1952 within the sub-county Koch Goma in Nwoya District in Uganda. Throughout an period when African girls participation in athletics was in its prevalently nascent and newbie levels, younger Ayaa turned a powerful title amongst African girls monitor stars. Ayaa turned the primary Ugandan girl to win a Commonwealth Video games’ medal. The feminine Ugandan Commonwealth Video games’ medallists who adopted in her footsteps are three: Ruth Kyalisiima (Kyarisiima/ Kyalisima) in Brisbane in 1982 the place she received the silver within the 400 meters-hurdles (57.10), gold-medallist Dorcus Inzikuru within the 3000 meters-steeplechase in Melbourne in 2006 whereby she established a Video games’ document (9:19.51), and bronze-medallist Winnie Nanyondo who was third within the 800m (2:01.38) in Glasgow in 2012.

Judith Ayaa’s profession on the monitor could be short-lived, although of great success.

The document of Judith Ayaa within the East and Central African Athletic Championships is superb. In 1968 (Dar-es-Salaam), Ayaa received gold within the 100 meters dash, ending in 11.5. The next yr in mid-August 1969, Ayaa cemented and confirmed her formidability by in the identical championships (Kampala) profitable within the 100 meters (11.8), the 200 meters (25.0), and the 400m (53.6). Jane Chikambwe, thought of an athletics legend in Zambia received silvers behind Ayaa within the 100m and 200m. Right here in Kampala in 1969, Ayaa was a part of the Uganda 4x100m relay crew that received in 49.5. In the identical yr, primarily based on her private finest time of 53.6, Judith Ayaa was ranked amongst the world’s high 10 feminine 400m runners.

In 1970 on the identical ECA Championships (Nairobi), Judith Ayaa didn’t slip behind. The slim younger girl with the “Mercedes-Benz” physique once more received within the 100m (11.8), the 200m (24.1), and the 400m (54.0s).

It was on the Commonwealth Video games held in Edinburgh in Scotland in 1970 that Judith Ayaa established herself as a global feminine athlete to be reckoned with. At these Video games, Judith Ayaa notably competed within the 100m and the 400m. On July seventeenth, Ayaa was positioned within the first of the 5 100m preliminary heats. He carried out moderately properly, ending in second place, behind Jenny Lamy of Australia, in 11.92 seconds. However the semi-finals, the following day, weren’t as fruitful for Ayaa. She was positioned within the second of the 2 semi-final heats, and was overwhelmed into sixth place (11.93) and eradicated from advancing to the finals. The finals, later within the day, had been received by Raelene Boyle of Australia, adopted by legendary Alice Annum of Ghana, after which Marion Hoffman of Australia for the bronze medal.

There have been a lot fewer rivals within the 400m so there would solely be two rounds of competitors. On July twenty second, Ayaa was positioned within the second of two heats of the primary spherical. Ayaa received in a comparatively astounding time of 52.86 seconds, a brand new Uganda and Africa document. The ending time by Ayaa ranked her as eleventh on this planet in 1970. Alice Annum who had been scheduled to compete in the identical spherical, didn’t begin.

Ayaa superior to the finals that may be contested the following day. However maybe she had ran too quick as an alternative of working whereas relaxed however sufficient to be amongst the highest 4 of every spherical that may robotically qualify for the finals. Sandra Brown of Australia, was second, and a full second behind Ayaa. The opposite semi-final warmth through which Marilyn Neufville received in 53.05, was of extra leisure and tactfulness.

The finals the following day witnessed diminutive however legendary 17 year-old Jamaican Marilyn Fay Neufville, profitable in a world document of 51.02. Neufville received by an astounding greater than two seconds forward of silver medallist Sandra Brown (53.66) of Australia; she decreased the earlier world document of 51.7 established (1969) by Colette Besson and Nicole Duclos each of France by almost a second. Judith Ayaa, overtaken after slowing down close to the top of the race, seemingly as a consequence of fatigue after her pointless exertion within the semi-finals, was third (53.77) in a photo-finish behind Sandra Brown and captured the bronze medal. The fatigue had seemingly price her at the very least the silver medal; however the Commonwealth bronze could be one in every of Ayaa’s most acclaimed worldwide possessions!

Marilyn Neufville’s excellent profession could be short-lived due to bodily accidents and inconsequential surgical procedure. On the 1974 Commonwealth Video games held in Christchurch in New Zealand Neufville was sixth within the finals of the 400m. And on the Olympic Video games of 1976 held in Montreal in Canada, she participated within the first spherical of the 400m and certified for the following spherical, however she didn’t transfer ahead into the following spherical due to accidents.

The subsequent main occasion for Ayaa could be from July 16-17, 1971 at he Wallace Wade Stadium at Duke College in Durham in North Carolina. It was the USA versus Africa and the Remainder of the World Meet (generally known as the USA-Pan African Monitor-and-Discipline Meet). The occasion that attracted a excessive capability crowd of a complete of 52000 spectators was of a unified African crew along with different nations (fourteen nations altogether) versus the USA crew. Maybe the primary attraction was 1500m Olympic gold-medallist Kipchoge Keino who was revered and famend for his monitor rivalry with American middle-distance legend and 1500m world-record (3:33.1) holder Jim Ryun. Right here at Duke, Keino supposed to interrupt this world document.

Different internationally acclaimed runners within the competitors included Kenyan Amos Biwott (steeplechase Olympic champion), and long-distance Tunisian legend Mohammed Gammoudi. Ugandan hurdler John Akii-Bua of Uganda who was hardly recognized internationally, was additionally there to compete.

Judith Ayaa received the gold medal at these USA-Pan Africa Video games in 54.69. Second was Gwendolyn Norman (USA) of Sports activities Worldwide in 55.42, third was Jarvis Scott (USA) of Los Angeles Mercurettes in 56. 0, and fourth was Titi Adeleke (Nigeria) in 59.52. John Akii-Bua received within the intermediate hurdles, establishing an Africa document (49.0) that may be the world’s finest time for 1971. Clean-sailing “flying policeman” Akii turned signified as a contender for the forthcoming Olympics in 1972 in Munich. Concurrently, Ayaa gained worldwide acclaim although to not the extent of Akii. Kip Keino failed to interrupt the world document within the 1500m, however he clearly led and completed in fairly a superb 3:34.7.

John Myers airs Akii-Bua’s feedback, right here generally known as “John Akii-Buba” (1971: 6A): “The runners had been good… The monitor is quick. It was not uncomfortable.”

Different notable rivals on the monitor and discipline meet included Individuals Rodney Milburn and Ron Draper (excessive hurdles), Kenyans Robert Ouko (800m) and Benjamin Jipcho (steeplechase); Steve Prefontaine (USA) and Miruts Yifter (Ethiopia) within the 5000m, and John Smith (USA) within the 400m.

Nonetheless in 1971, on the East and Central African Championships held in Lusaka in Zambia, Ayaa was the winner within the 400m (54.7). She was additionally a part of the Uganda gold medal profitable groups within the relays: 4x100m (48.7) and 4x400m (3:50.5).

The subsequent main problem for Ayaa, the Olympic Video games of 1972 held in Munich in Germany would show to be fascinating. Within the first spherical, Ayaa in lane two got here in fourth (52.85s) thereby qualifying for the quarter-finals. Within the quarter finals, Judith Ayaa was drawn in lane 7 in her warmth two of 4 heats. The primary 4 finishers of every warmth would transfer on to the semi-final. Ayaa comfortably completed third and established a Uganda and Africa document of 52.68. The Uganda document, Ayaa’s private finest, would stand for greater than three a long time. Of notice, in these quarter-finals, Ayaa beat 26 year-old Colette Besson of France the diminutive shock winner in the identical occasion on the earlier (1968) Olympics in Mexico Metropolis. Besson was in lane 3 and her fifth place end disqualified her from advancing to the following spherical.

Ayaa moved on to the Olympics’ semi-finals. She was in lane 2, and completed in 52.91 seconds, a seventh place end. Ayaa had put up fairly a commendable efficiency, however the worldwide competitors was formidable, and Ayaa was eradicated in what could be her first and final Olympics competitors. The eighth competitor, Christel Frese of West Germany, fell throughout the race and didn’t end.

In 1972, Ayaa turned a 4-time gold medallist within the 400m on the East and Central African Championships. This time, in Dar-es-Salaam, Ayaa’s profitable time was 55.7. She was a part of the Uganda crew that received the gold medal within the 4x100m (48.7).

After 1972, Ayaa’s efficiency document would develop into lackluster. She bought married and began having kids in shut succession, and uncared for sports activities. The tumultuous regime of Amin made the state of affairs worse. Athletes had been far much less financially compensated for his or her toil and accidents, than they’ve more and more been within the latest a long time. Ayaa’s demise was removed from glamorous; it was disheartening. In some unspecified time in the future later in her life, whereas taking care of her two younger kids, Ayaa struggled, and generally begged on the streets of Kampala. She would crush stones for a residing. Akii-Bua, additionally a nationwide team-mate with Ayaa on the Olympics in 1972, could be instrumental to the drawing consideration to and the intervening within the plight of Ayaa. She was situated and a European benefactor helped with bills. Sadly, in 2002 Ayaa would die younger at 48 or 49, at Mulago Hospital in Kampala. Paradoxically, Akii-Bua who was additionally then not faring properly, had died at about the identical age of demise as Ayaa, earlier in 1997 on the identical hospital.

Ayaa’s reign on the ladies’s monitor was brief however is excellent and enduring. Trophies and nationwide and regional competitions in northern Uganda have develop into commemorated within the title Judith Ayaa.

Works Cited

Myers, John. “Hosts Successful Rating in Pan Africa Meet” in “Carolina Instances” (July 24, 1971).

[ Back To Top ]