Erasmus Samuel Amukun: Uganda Sprinter and Geologist

Erasmus Samuel AO Amukun was born on 27 November 1940 in Ngora in Kumi in eastern Uganda. He is best known for his exploits as a collegiate and international runner and as a professional geologist. He represented Uganda at the Commonwealth Games for the British Empire, at the Olympic Games, and at the East and Central African Games. Amokun is also credited with beating Kenyan sprinting legend and future Commonwealth Games (1962, Perth) two-time sprint gold medalist Serafino Antao in the sprint.

In 1958, at the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in Wales (July 17-26, 1958), the teenage Amokun did not advance beyond five of twelve preliminary heats in the 100-yard dash. In heat 5 he finished in 9.9 seconds, fourth. But teammate Benjamin Keene Nduga, who had finished ahead of Antaw, qualified and moved on to the semi-finals, where he would be eliminated. At 220 yards, Amokon finished eighth (22.14) from nine preliminary round rounds. Later, in the fourth round of the Quarter-Final Qualifiers to which he qualified, he was eliminated after placing third in 22.1. But in the 4 x 100 yard relay, Uganda’s relay team, of which Amokon was a part, finished sixth in the finals (42.1). Uganda’s relay team also had Ben Nduga, Ignatius Okello and S. They had moved on to the finals after finishing third (42,47) in the first round which was a semi-final.

Amokun, aged 19, was the captain of the Ugandan team at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. In Uganda’s youth team, Amokon was the youngest, and 21-year-old Agri-Awori was the oldest.

On August 31, 1960, Erasmus Amokun competed in the fourth out of nine heats in the first heat of the 100 meters where the three fastest in each round would proceed to the next round – the quarter-finals. He finished third in a time of 10.80 to qualify for the next round. Notably, in this first round, 21-year-old Ugandan compatriot Agry Awori (Owori), who participated in the third round, was eliminated after placing fifth (11.09). Kenyan Serafino Antao (10.64) comfortably finished first in the preliminary round, thus moving on to the quarter-finals.

In the quarter-finals held later that same day, Amokon was placed to compete in the third of four heats. He would finish fourth (10.75), and be eliminated because he was not among the top three at the end. But that would be the fastest he has ever officially run in the 100m. Antau finished third in the fourth heat (10.61) and moved on to the semi-finals. On September 1, Antao placed sixth (10.72) in the second round of the semi-final qualification, and became ineligible for the finals.

The 200m competition began on September 2nd, and Amokun was placed in heat five of a dozen heats from Round 1 in which the top two finishers in each heat will advance to the quarter-finals. Amokun finished second (21.38) and moved on to the quarterfinals. This would officially be the best time of his life in the 200 metres. Meanwhile, Antao won the eleventh round (21.44), easily making it to the next round.

In the 200m quarter-finals held later that day, Amokun was placed in the first of four heats. He finished fourth (21.47) and was eliminated from advancing to the semi-finals because he was not among the top three in the heats. He also came fourth, but in the second round of the quarter-finals it was Serafino Antao (21.43) who was also eliminated.

Uganda also competed in the 4 x 100 meters relay scheduled for 7 September 1960. There were four runs in the first round, and Uganda finished fifth in 41.90, but was already disqualified. In some other celebrations, Poland and France are also excluded. Uganda’s relay team also included Agree Awori, Jean-Baptiste Okello, and Gadi Addo.

In 1961 at the East and Central African Championships in Nakuru Place in Kenya, Erasmus Amokun won the 440 yard dash in 48.0 seconds. Samuel Amokon was also part of Uganda’s 4×100 yard relay team that won in 43.1 in Nakuru.

Towards the end of 1961, Amukun successfully completed a two-year Cambridge Advanced Matriculation Certificate, majoring in Science, at King’s College Budo (Buddo) near Kampala where he resided at Mutesa House.

Sam Amukun competed in the annual IC4A (or ICAAAA, (Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association of America) competition for men held at different colleges every year. Amukun was then an undergraduate at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. He was in IC4A in Villanova in Pennsylvania in 1964 At the end of May, Amukun won the 100-yard dash in 9.7.It was a photo finish with Earl Horner of Villanova University, and it was decided that Amukun would win with his chest forward on the bar (Green 1964:5).

At the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics, 23-year-old Amokun would represent Uganda in the 200-meter dash and in the 4 x 100-meter relay. After being placed in the second round of the eight heats from the preliminary rounds, Amokon placed fifth (21.55) on October 16 and was eliminated because he was not among the top four in the heats. Kenyan Antao advanced to the quarter-finals after finishing second in the third qualifier (21.52). Antao, in the quarter-finals, would be eliminated later on.

On 20 October, Uganda’s 4×100m relay team of Awori, Amokone, James Odongo and Amos Omolo placed sixth (41.4) in heat three of three heats for the first round. Therefore, the team did not advance to the semi-finals.

Revenge was great at the annual IC4A tournament held in 1965 in Brunswick, New Jersey at the end of May. Here Horner of Villanova who had lost to Amocon of Colgate in the 100-meter dash in 1964, won both short races, with Amocon finishing third in the 100-yard dash. But earlier the same year, at the beginning of May, the Ugandan Olympian was victorious in both short distances at the track meet as the Colgate Raiders ran against Syracuse University (Orange) at Syracuse’s Archbold Stadium. Also, in mid-April at the Cornell University vs. Colgate meet, Amokun defeated the meet record holder to second place in both short races by Cornell’s Charles Blueground (9.9 in the 100 yards) second attempt in the 100 yards. It was a dash enough to beat Colgate’s Sam Amokon, the record-holder meet favorite in the event. Amokun covered the distance in 9.6 seconds the previous week. In the 220-yard sprint, Ugandan Blaugrund (22.5) followed again at the finish line.

Before Amukun’s death in 1998, at the age of 57, he was Director of Exploration for Northwest Explorations in Canada. Amokom received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Colgate University in 1966 while on a track and field scholarship. He received a master’s degree in geology from the University of Manitoba in 1969. The title of his master’s thesis was: “Petrography of gold-bearing vein rocks from the Bisset District, southeastern Manitoba.”

Amukun returned to Uganda to work at the Kilembe mine in Falconbridge but fled to Canada with his wife in 1972 due to insecurity and unease about the military dictatorship of Idi Amin.

After his death, it has been chronicled that after leaving Uganda, for 25 years, Amokon worked as a field geologist with the Geological Survey of Ontario, Noranda and Orangesselschaft, and later began his consulting work. In 1996, he joined Northwest Explorations and became director of exploration for the company’s Guyanese projects. He was a member of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Minerals, and Petroleum, the Canadian Prospectors and Developers Association, and the Canadian Geological Association.

Samuel Erasmus Amokone has compiled and written extensively and his books include: “Precambrian Geology, Little Marshall Lake District” (1989), “Geology of the Club Lake District, Thunder Bay County” (1984), “Geology of the Willett Lake District, Thunder County” (1984). Bay” (1979), “Geology of the Tashota Area, District of Thunder Bay” (1977), “Geology of the Gledhill Lake Area, District of Thunder Bay” (1980), “Geology of the Conglomerate Lake Area, Thunder Bay County” (1980), and “Willette Lake, Thunder Bay County” (1979).

Amokun was married to Daphne for 29 years, and he was also survived by his daughter Nashiba and sons Seto and Moeno.

Works cited

Green, Bob (AP). “Villanova is IC4A Titlelist again; G-Burg Entry fourth.” Gettysburg Times, 1 June 1964: 5.

Chicago Previous post Chicago firefighter charged with allegedly pimping prostitute out of his apartment: report
Suspect leads Ohio police on chase through day care center, terrifies children Next post Man calling himself ‘Baby Danielle’ breaks into day care, leaves staff bizarre notes about diapers: police

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *