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The Most Famous

ATHLETES from Uganda

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This page contains a list of the greatest Ugandan Athletes. The pantheon dataset contains 3,059 Athletes, 10 of which were born in Uganda. This makes Uganda the birth place of the 60th most number of Athletes behind Iran and Colombia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Ugandan Athletes of all time. This list of famous Ugandan Athletes is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Ugandan Athletes.

Photo of John Akii-Bua

1. John Akii-Bua (1949 - 1997)

With an HPI of 48.15, John Akii-Bua is the most famous Ugandan Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages on wikipedia.

John Akii-Bua (3 December 1949 – 20 June 1997) was a Ugandan hurdler and the first Olympic champion from his country Uganda and Africa at large. In 1986, he was a recipient of the Silver Olympic Order.

Photo of Stephen Kiprotich

2. Stephen Kiprotich (1989 - )

With an HPI of 34.47, Stephen Kiprotich is the 2nd most famous Ugandan Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Stephen Kiprotich ("KIP-roh-tich", born 27 February 1989) is a Ugandan long-distance runner. He is an Olympic marathon champion, having won the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Kiprotich also won a gold at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics. He is the second person, after Gezahegne Abera, to follow an Olympic marathon title with a world championship gold medal for the same event. Kiprotich became 2012 Olympic champion with a winning time of 2:08:01 in hot, sunny, and humid conditions. This was the first Olympic medal for Uganda since 1996, the first Olympic gold medal for the country since 1972, and the country's first ever medal in the marathon. He won the Moscow IAAF Championship marathon on 17 August 2013.

Photo of Joshua Cheptegei

3. Joshua Cheptegei (1996 - )

With an HPI of 33.70, Joshua Cheptegei is the 3rd most famous Ugandan Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei (born 12 September 1996) is a Ugandan long-distance runner. He is the reigning Olympic champion in the 5000 metres and silver medalist for the 10,000 metres, a two-time 10,000 m World champion from 2019 and 2022, World silver medallist from 2017, and the 2019 World Cross Country champion. Cheptegei won also gold medals for the 5000 m and 10,000 m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He currently holds world records in both disciplines, and holds world best in the 15 kilometres road race. He is also the current Ugandan record holder in both the 5 km and 10 km. Cheptegei is the tenth man in history to hold the 5,000 m and 10,000 m world records concurrently, both set in 2020. In 2018, he set a world record in the 15 km. Two years later, at a road race in Monaco, he set a previous world road 5 km record of 12:51, breaking through the event's 13-minute barrier, and taking 9 seconds from the previous best, set by Kenya's Sammy Kipketer in 2000. In August 2020, at the Monaco Diamond League meet, he set a new 5000 m world record of 12:35.36, breaking Kenenisa Bekele's 16-year-old world record of 12:37.35 set in Hengelo. On 7 October 2020, in Valencia, he set a world record time of 26:11.00 in the 10,000 metres, which again improved on Kenenisa Bekele's 15-year-old best by more than 6 seconds.

Photo of Davis Kamoga

4. Davis Kamoga (1968 - )

With an HPI of 26.66, Davis Kamoga is the 4th most famous Ugandan Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Davis Kamoga (born July 17, 1968) is a Ugandan athlete competing in 400 m. He won the bronze medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1997 he won the first Ugandan medal at the World Championships, a silver medal in the 1997 World Championships in Athens in a personal best time of 44.37 seconds. This is the national record, and ranks him fourth in Africa, behind Innocent Egbunike, Samson Kitur and Charles Gitonga.

Photo of Jacob Kiplimo

5. Jacob Kiplimo (2000 - )

With an HPI of 22.18, Jacob Kiplimo is the 5th most famous Ugandan Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Jacob Kiplimo (born 14 November 2000) is a Ugandan long-distance runner. He is 2020 Tokyo Olympic 10,000 metres bronze medallist and also won bronze in the event at the 2022 World Athletics Championships. Kiplimo earned gold medals in the 5000 metres and 10,000 m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. He is the 2020 World Half Marathon champion. On 21 November 2021, Kiplimo set a half marathon world record at 57:31 in Lisbon.At age 15, Kiplimo represented his country at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championship junior champion. In 2019, he became the World Cross Country Championship silver medallist at the age of 18.

Photo of Sylvia Jebiwott Kibet

6. Sylvia Jebiwott Kibet (1984 - )

With an HPI of 21.89, Sylvia Jebiwott Kibet is the 6th most famous Ugandan Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Sylvia Jebiwott Kibet (born 28 March, 1984) is a Kenyan professional long-distance runner. She was the silver medallist in the 5000 metres at the World Championships in Athletics in both 2009 and 2011. She also won medals over the distance at the 2006 African Championships in Athletics, the 2007 All-Africa Games and 2010 Commonwealth Games. She has narrowly missed out on medals at major championships on a number of occasions, having finished fourth at the 2007 World Championships, 2008 Beijing Olympics and twice over 3000 metres at the IAAF World Indoor Championships (in 2008 and 2010).

Photo of Halimah Nakaayi

7. Halimah Nakaayi (1994 - )

With an HPI of 18.77, Halimah Nakaayi is the 7th most famous Ugandan Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Halimah Nakaayi (born 16 October 1994) is a Ugandan middle-distance runner who specialises in the 800 metres. She is the 2019 World Champion at the event, and won the bronze medal at the 2022 World Indoor Championships. Nakaayi is the current Ugandan record holder in the 800m both outdoors and indoors, and also for the 1000 metres. She competed in the 800 metres at both the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, reaching the semi-finals each time.

Photo of Solomon Mutai

8. Solomon Mutai (1992 - )

With an HPI of 18.08, Solomon Mutai is the 8th most famous Ugandan Athlete.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Munyo Solomon Mutai (born 22 October 1992 in Bukwo) is a Ugandan long-distance runner. He started his career over shorter distances and at the 2009 Ugandan Championships he placed ninth over 1500 metres and fourth in the 3000 metres steeplechase. At the age of 18 years he was runner-up at the national 5000 metres, second to Moses Kipsiro. His half marathon debut came in Kampala and he was runner-up behind his compatriot Nathan Ayeko with a time of 1:01:26 hours. He set two personal bests at the 2013 Ugandan Championships, running 13:33.80 minutes for the 5000 m and 28:44.81 minutes for the 10,000 metres, having placed fourth at both distances. He made his debut in road events at the end of the year and was in the top ten at the BOClassic and Corrida de Houilles 10K runs. He also won the half marathon section of the Nairobi Marathon that year. He made his international debut for Uganda at the 2014 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and helped Uganda to fifth in the team race by finishing 26th overall. He was then selected to run the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he finished fourth. He won a silver medal at the marathon event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Photo of Peruth Chemutai

9. Peruth Chemutai (1999 - )

With an HPI of 15.22, Peruth Chemutai is the 9th most famous Ugandan Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Peruth Chemutai (born July 10, 1999) is a Ugandan steeplechase runner. She won the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo in the women's 3000 metres steeplechase race, becoming the first Ugandan woman ever to win an Olympic medal.Hailing from the Bukwo District, she took up running in 2013 after attending the District Athletics Championships in Bukwo as a casual fan. At the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, she won silver medals in the 1500 metres and 3000 metres. She also competed in the junior women's race at the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, finishing in 7th place. In 2016, she finished in 7th place in the final of the women's 3000 metres steeplechase event at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships held in Bydgoszcz, Poland.At the 2016 Summer Olympics her time of 9:31.03 in the heats did not qualify her for the final.At the 2018 World Junior Championships held in mid July, she claimed a notable Silver medal in the 3000m steeplechase. A week later, at the Monaco diamond league, she set a national record with a time of 9:07.94 In 2019, she competed in the senior women's race at the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships held in Aarhus, Denmark. She finished in 5th place.At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Chemutai competed in the 3000 metres steeplechase. She beat pre-race favorites such as Beatrice Chepkoech and Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi to finish with a time of 9:01.45, national record, and win the gold medal. Chemutai became the first Ugandan woman ever to win an Olympic medal in any sport.

Photo of Dorcus Inzikuru

10. Dorcus Inzikuru (1982 - )

With an HPI of 12.52, Dorcus Inzikuru is the 10th most famous Ugandan Athlete.  Her biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Dorcus Inzikuru (born 2 February 1982 in Vurra, Arua District) is a Ugandan track and field athlete, competing in the steeplechase. She won the inaugural world title in women's 3000 m steeplechase, as well as the first Commonwealth title in the event. Her coach is Renato Canova. Sometimes her name is spelt "Docus". It was misspelled in her passport, and the mistake was perpetuated when she entered international races.

Pantheon has 10 people classified as athletes born between 1949 and 2000. Of these 10, 9 (90.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living athletes include Stephen Kiprotich, Joshua Cheptegei, and Davis Kamoga. The most famous deceased athletes include John Akii-Bua. As of April 2022, 2 new athletes have been added to Pantheon including Jacob Kiplimo and Peruth Chemutai.

Living Athletes

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Deceased Athletes

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Newly Added Athletes (2022)

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