Moses Kipsiro

Uganda won two gold medals at the recent Commonwealth Games in India, and both came from the fleet feet of Moses Kipsiro, who was crowned champion in both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters races. In both events, Kipsiro sprinted ahead of Kenyan rivals who had to settle for the silver and bronze medals.

John Birech, the Kenyan who won bronze in the 10,000, said he and his teammates “tried to break Kipsiro down, but he kept on and on.”  Birech added, “Credit to him, he is a strong runner.”

Strong indeed. The 24-year-old Kipsiro is the first athlete to win Commonwealth gold at both track distances in more than 70 years.  Jubilant Ugandans responded to his achievement by lifting the red-shirted Kipsiro onto their shoulders when he arrived home to a hero’s welcome at Entebbe International Airport.  Kipsiro was wearing both of his gold medals around his neck.

He says he’s now looking ahead to the 2012 Olympics in London, where he’ll be Uganda’s main medal hope.  “I definitely need an Olympic medal,” says Kipsiro.  “I will continue working hard until 2012.”