By Norman Katende
UGANDA’S first Olympian and first Commonwealth medallist Patrick Etolu will be laid to rest on Sarturday in Soroti.
The 78-year-old former high jumper passed on December 24 at Mulago Hospital where he had been referred to from Soroti Hospital on December 23 suffering with breathing problems and swollen feet.
A family meeting held in Soroti on Thursday after the body had arrived, agreed that Etolu be laid to rest on Saturday at his home opposite UCC in Soroti town at 2pm. There will be a requiem service starting at 2pm.
"We are in touch and a team of officials from the federation is travelling to Soroti to attend the burial," said Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) president Domenic Otuchet, who will be leading the team.
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.
“As the federation, we have already consulted and we will be getting some fund which we will call 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.