By Norman Katende
Uganda's first Olympian Patrick Etolu has died.
The 78-year-old Etolu was part of the maiden team which represented Uganda in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia.
He managed to finish in 12th position after clearing a height of 1.96m with the other two Ugandans Benjamin Ngunda (100m) and Lawrence Ogwang (high jump) all failing to go past the first round.
He also won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 1954 in High Jump.
The high jumper was rushed to Mulago Hospital from Soroti Referral Hospital on December 23 with breathing difficulties and swollen legs and he was declared dead in the afternoon.
The Uganda Athletics Federation president Dominic Otuchet confirmed Etolu’s death, saying his body has been already been transported to Soroti though the details of where and when he will be laid to his final place of rest were yet to be discussed.
“As the federation, we have already consulted and we will be getting some fund which we will call the Etolu Fund to hold clinics in field events. We want his star to shine on even after his death,” said Otuchet.
Etolu held the national high-jump record of 1.96 meters from the mid 1950′s until 1999 when heptathlete Teddy Sondota broke it, only for David Okot break it again.