Leo Rwabwogo – Uganda’s Double Olympic Medal Winner

Leo Rwabwogo is formally recorded as possessing been born on June 3 1949, but some of his loved ones users put his day of delivery as currently being as significantly back as 1942. Rwabwogo died on January 14, 2009 (some resources state, January 15, 2009), when he collapsed when tending to his crop plantation that provided bananas, in western Uganda. He possible died from coronary heart failure.

Leo Rwabwogo was one of the most well known of Uganda’s amateur boxing fighters during the 1960’s. Rwabwogo’s worldwide prominence came with the African Boxing Championships that were being held in Zambia’s funds Lusaka in June 1968. Rwabwogo, as a flyweight, emerged as gold-medalist with a get about Mohamed Selim of Egypt.

The memorable Olympic Online games of 1968 (Oct 12 to Oct 27), were held in the populous Mexico cash of Mexico City. Rwabwogo started out in the preliminaries by defeating Sang Byung-Soo of South Korea by 5-. Next arrived the quarter-finals, and Rwabwogo managed to defeat Tibor Badari of Hungary, by 3-2. Due to the fact of his amazing speed and effectiveness, muscular and perfectly-conditioned Rwabwogo was suspected of having inhaled marijuana. There was no proof that Rwabwogo had broken any procedures! Subsequent came the semi-finals in which Rwabwogo was pitted from Artur Olec of Poland. Regrettably, Rwabwogo was judged as obtaining lost the bout by 2-3. Nevertheless, Leo Rwabwogo, by winning the bronze medal, grew to become Uganda’s 1st Olympic medalist. His identify would turn out to be cemented into Uganda’s athletics heritage, without end!

Subsequently, Artur Olec was defeated by Ricardo Delgado (Ricardo Delgado Nogales) of Mexico, in the finals. Delgado turned expert in 1969, but his experienced file is mediocre with about fifty percent as wins and fifty percent as defeats by points. Delgado retired from experienced boxing in 1975.

In 1970, Leo Rwabwogo would shine as a contributor to Uganda’s emergence as best Commonwealth boxing nation. The 1970 Commonwealth Games had been held in Edinburgh in Scotland throughout July 17-24. In the quarterfinals, flyweight Leo Rwabwogo shone by defeating Leon Nissen of Australia with the referee halting the bout in the next round. In the semi-finals, Rwabwogo was pitted versus David Larmour of Eire. Rwabwogo gained by a the greater part points determination. Nonetheless, in the finals, Rwabwogo was defeated 4-1 by Dave Needham of England. Rwabwogo grew to become honored with a silver medal. Dave “the Artful Dodger” Needham is legendary in the British Empire, and won a number of British experienced titles.

Rwabwogo next mostly shone in the up coming Olympics. Rwabwogo notably preserved his body weight and represented Uganda, once again as a flyweight at the 1972 Olympics that were being held from August 28 to September 10. In the preliminaries, Rwabwogo would overwhelmingly defeat Jorge Acuna of Uruguay by 5-. Next, muscular Rwabwogo technically knocked out Maurice O’Sullivan of Terrific Britain in the first round. The future preliminary bout would once again favor Rwabwogo with a 4-1 acquire over Orn-Chim Chawalit of Thailand. Rwabwogo then moved on to the quarter-finals and sent with a 3rd-spherical technical knockout of Neil McLaughlin of Ireland. And in the semi-finals, notwithstanding the superb dominance of Cubans at the 1972 Game titles and in entire world novice boxing as a whole, Leo Rwabwogo was in a position to convincingly defeat Douglas Rodriguez of Cuba by 3-2. The Cubans dominated boxing at these Olympic Game titles, and however Rodriguez was defeated by Rwabwogo and settled for bronze, later at the Entire world Beginner boxing Championships held in Havana, Rodriguez would seize gold.

However, in the ultimate of the 1972 Olympics, Rwabwogo shed to Georgi Kostadinov of Bulgaria by 5-. Rwabwogo had allegedly accumulated a thumb harm that may perhaps nicely have been a big component in the loss. However, Leo Rwabwogo experienced more cemented himself in Uganda historical past as the only Ugandan to have won two Olympic medals. No Ugandan has at any time re-enacted Rwabwogo’s feat. Moreover, for the reason that Rwabwogo gained a lot more Olympic boxing medals than any other Ugandan boxer, Rwabwogo is regarded by several as Uganda’s best beginner boxer. this is a moot problem, presented that numerous other Ugandans, these types of as James Odwori, Mohamed Muruli, and Ayub Kalule received a lot more gold medals in their worldwide competitions. But again, quite a few regard the Olympics as the common hallmark of intercontinental levels of competition!

Enable it also be regarded that in Rwabwogo’s future big international outing, that is the All-Africa Game titles (held in Nigerian cash Lagos from January 7-18 1973) Leo Rwabwogo (only 3 months right after his silver medal earn at the Olympics) was in his extremely initial preliminary eliminated (3-2) by Laha Ratavi of Madagascar! Ratavi was practically not known in the boxing environment just as Madagascar’s stance in the boxing globe was abysmally reduced. Up coming, Laha Ratavi was defeated in the quarter-finals by Isaac Maiawa of Kenya. Maiawa ultimately grew to become the silver-medalist. Ratavi was under no circumstances listened to of, again, as regards international boxing! In addition, Leo Rwabwogo would little be heard of all over again as regards fighting for his indigenous Uganda nation. Rwabwogo is not even listed among Uganda’s crew of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, that sooner or later boycotted the Games’. Even in retrospect, Rwabwogo was not bundled in the 1974 Uganda groups of the African Boxing Championships, the Commonwealth Video games, and the Earth Newbie Boxing Championships.

Maybe age and injuries had caught up with famed Uganda newbie boxer, Leo Rwabwogo possibly the countrywide coaches deemed impending young boxers as additional knowledgeable than Leo Rwabwogo. Rwabwogo under no circumstances moved into the expert ranks, but he occasionally lamented that he was denied the opportunity when Uganda boxing officers possibly blocked his chances or ended up discouraging! Rwabwogo, in background, still persists as just one of the most skillful, strong, agile and effectively-conditioned of Uganda’s boxers

Amelia J. Bell

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