Ghana Vs Brazil Under 20 World Cup Final Abraham Kwadu Munabi: Uganda’s Greatest Triple Jumper

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Abraham Kwadu Munabi: Uganda’s Greatest Triple Jumper

In the late 1960s and early 1970s the best student at the prestigious School of Medicine at the prestigious Makerere University in Kampala established himself as one of the top triple jumpers in Africa and the Commonwealth of Nations. Abraham Kwadu Munabi, who was born on 19th December 1940, was like the Ugandan 1960 champion Amos Omolo who seems to have joined the sport. Munabi was a big name and medal hope in Ugandan athletics at the time. The world record that Munabi set in the triple jump, still stands forty years later.

But no, it is not because of his success in sports that the world has come to recognize Munabi. Dr. Munabi moved to the USA in the late 1970s for higher studies, where he was involved in special experiments and art research. For more than three decades, Munabi’s name has appeared in research papers. Munabi is known as a reproductive specialist, an endocrinologist. A renowned gynecologist, Munabi founded and is the director of the Reproductive Science Institute of Suburban Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.

Munabi jumped up to 16.11m and a triple jump record in September 1969. Here Munabi won gold in the triple jump at the East and Central African Games. The annual games were held in the capital city of Kampala in Uganda where munabi. Munabi won with a speed of 16.11m more than the competition. In the same competition, Munabi won gold in long jump with 7.24m. Munabi also took gold in the triple jump at the regional games in 1972, held in the Tanzanian capital Dar-es-Salaam. The winning height was 15.40m.

Munabi’s next major international event would be the 1970 Commonwealth of Nations Games held in Edinburgh, Scotland. On July 24, the twenty-eight international contestants will skip, jump, and skip their way through the qualifying rounds to the finals that will take place the following day. Munabi, with a jump of 15.51 meters, placed ninth among the thirteen finalists. The final five finishers were Australia’s Mile McGrath (16.09m), Nigeria’s Samuel Igun (16.08m), India’s Mohinder Singh Gill (15.90m), Australia’s Phil May (15.87m), and England’s Tony Wadhams (15.80m). . Despite being in ninth place, Abe felt that he would take home a medal from Uganda. The finalists witnessed Phil Gray (Australia), with a height of 16.72m, taking the gold; Mike McGrath (16.41m) also from Australia, took silver; and Mohinder Singh (India) was third with a jump of 15.90m. Uganda’s Abraham Munabi was placed, not too disappointingly, fourth (15.73m).

This 1970 Commonwealth of Nations Games witnessed Uganda emerge, with impressive medals, as Commonwealth boxing champions. Boxing gold medals were won by Mohamed Muruli (light-welterweight), James Odwori (light-flyweight) and Benson Masanda (heavyweight); and silver medals were won by Leo Rwabwogo and lightweight Deogratias Musoke. In the teams, Uganda’s William Koskei (silver medal in 400m-hurdles) and Judith Ayaa (bronze medal in 400m) were awarded. John Akii-Bua (400m-hurdles), 20, was like Munabi, beaten in fourth place.

At the 1972 Olympics held in Munich, 31-year-old Munabi (among 6 male and 2 female athletes) was Uganda’s oldest athlete. At 5’11 (180 cm), Munabi was slightly lighter at 154 pounds (70 kg). There were 36 participants from other countries in the triple jump competition held from September 3 to 4. Munabi had a personal best of 15.82m, and was ranked 22nd overall. Munabi’s poor performance in the Third Round halted his progress. For consolation, Munabi had hit one-third of the field. Olympic medalists were Viktor Saneyev of the Soviet Union, Jorg Drehmel of East Germany, and Nelson Prudencio of Brazil.

Munabi was determined to win gold at the All-Africa Games to be held in August 1973. Munabi was beaten into second place by Senegal’s Mansour Mamadou Dia. But most importantly, Munabi jumped three times to reach 16.26 meters, a world record that exists to this day. Gold medalist Mansour Dia jumped 16.53 meters, while bronze medalist Moise Pomaney of Ghana managed 16.09 meters. Dia also won a bronze medal in the long jump at the All-Africa Games. Also, Mansour Dia not only represented Senegal in the last three Olympics, he also achieved the 1972 Olympic record (16.77m), a national record that would stand for more than 3.5 years. At the Olympics, Dia who is one week younger than Munabi was ranked 13th in 1964, 8th in 1968, and 6th in 1972.

Uganda’s performance at the All-Africa Games was outstanding, with boxers and athletes winning the most medals Uganda has won at an African Games since 1973 (8 gold, 6 silver, 6 bronze). Uganda was sixth. The following year, Munabi would compete for Uganda at the Commonwealth Games held in Christchurch, New Zealand. One of his obstacles was the final exam he had to do for his Medicine program at Makerere University.

Munabi finished sixth in the triple jump at the 1976 Montreal pre-Olympic meet. Joshua Owusu (who is also a Commonwealth of Nations Games champion) from Ghana here won the gold. In the magazine “Africa” ​​(1976: 142) Munabi, who is now 34 years old, is described as having little hope of winning an Olympic medal in Africa, but as a great inspiration for the future of athletics in Uganda. Indeed, at that time, it was Munabi who was the most successful athlete in Uganda. At this pre-Olympic event, Ugandan boxer Mustapha Wasajja, who later became the world’s best and most successful boxer, won Uganda’s only gold medal. Unfortunately, Uganda, like many other countries, boycotted and withdrew from the Olympic Games that will be held soon in Montreal.

The traditions of sports and higher education are difficult in Munabi’s family. Son Tunji Adrian Munabi was a student and athlete at the prestigious Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Tunji was the leading scorer for the Stanford Cardinals, who also had a triple jump and a jump shot. But the child did not break the family records of the triple jump and the long jump set by the father. Another excellent student and athlete, Tunji’s sister, Naikhoba, recently joined Stanford and competed in the triple jump.

As for Uganda, the latest praise and hope in the triple jump race comes through Sarah Nambawa (athlete) who in the past few years has become a triple champion in Africa (Nairobi, August 2010), she set Uganda’s record. (13.95m), and placed fifth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi. At the 2010 IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup held in Split, Croatia in early September 2010, against international competition Nambawa from Uganda finished 6th with a jump of 13.78m. Also, previously, competing at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, in June 2010, Nambawa jumped 13.66m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships held in Eugene, Oregon placing him 2nd overall.

There is enough room for Nambawa to dethrone “Abe” as Uganda’s greatest jumper. This number is definitely the athlete who deserves to rekindle our memories of Abraham Munabi’s sporting achievements.

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