Dorcus Inzikuru, the Ugandan Gazelle
Dorcus Inzikuru

Dorcus Inzikuru, the Ugandan Gazelle


Amazingly, despite all the pride and fame that their daughter has brought to them and the nation, her parents never saw her win her medals...

By Ramathan Kasozi
more from author >>
First published: June 27, 2006


Ugandans had to be patient for over three decades to hear once again the national anthem played after an international athletics competition.

The national anthem had been last heard in 1972, when the late John Akii-Bua struck a gold medal in the 400metres hurdles in the Munich Olympic Games, 11 years before a certain gazelle in Arua was born.

It was last year in the world games in HelsinkiFinland that the Uganda anthem was played again when the gazelle made it for our tiny East African nation, when she incredibly won a gold medal in the 3,000m steeple chase before doing the same this year in Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Dorcus Inzikuru at the March 2006 Commonwealth Games
Dorcus Inzikuru at the March 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Image Source:BBC Sport


The gazelle is non other than Ugandan Dorcus Inzikuru, born to a poor couple, Jackson Luluwa and Joyce Temaru, in Vurra village in Arua district.

Inzi, as she is commonly known, is the first of Luluwa and Tamaru's six daughters. She has no brothers as the two that her parents managed both passed away in their infant stages. One succumbed to malaria at the age of eight and the other to typhoid at fourteen.

Amazingly, despite all the pride and fame that their daughter has brought to the nation, the two have never been able to watch Inzi striking both medals at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games. During the World Championship in Finland, the parents were busy attending to Inzi's sick sister, and so they heard the good news in a hospital.

Melissa Rollison being beaten by Dorcus Inzikuru at the March 2006 Commonwealth Games
Melissa Rollison being beaten by Dorcus Inzikuru at the March 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Image Source:Northern Territory News

And during the Commonwealth Games, the poor couple could not access a place in a video hall that was telecasting the race on DSTV's Super Sport. The elite class of Arua who could afford video hall charges broke the news to them.

According to Inzikuru, athletics is hereditary in their family as her parents were once athletes though they did not hit headlines as their daughter.

"My parents never went to the Olympics, but they were both athletes" revealed the Mvara SSS Old girl in an interview with sports journalists shortly after returning from Helsinki.

"There are photographs of them running in the early 60s are in our house. So I inherited their genes," added the world's number one in 3,000m Stepple chase.

She puts her success to the influence of the renowned Italian athletics coach Reneta Canova and Manager Dr Flavio Pasquato, who she says have transformed her into what she is now.

However some few years back, a row between Pasquato and Inzikuru's parents erupted after the later accused the Italian for chewing all the gains from their daughter though Inzi denies it.

Because of a busy schedule, she was forced to cut her studies short while in O-levels at Mvara SSS and even transferred her camp to Italy, where she is based now. She hopes to resume with her academics after the athletic career, saying there is no age limit for books unlike in sports.

"The athletic career is too short while you can study at any age, I will probably go back to school after my sports career," she explains.

The 24 year old star, is married to a doctor, Martin Bosco Acidri. They have no children yet.

Inzikuru, first hit the headlines in 1999, when she struck gold at the world Junior championships I Santiago, Chile and since then she has re-written records in the 5,000 and 3,000m steeple chase.

Dorcus Inzikuru wins debut steeplechase in 2005
Dorcus Inzikuru wins debut steeplechase in 2005.
Image Source:BBC Sport

Her best moment, came last year in Helsinki-Finland when she ended Uganda's 33 year wait for another gold medal after Akii-Bua's in 1972, by wining the inaugural women's 3,000m steeple chase before doing the same in the Commonwealth Games this season.

Hard work, discipline, and consistence are some of the credentials to the success of the Ugandan queen whose first name Dorcus is mis-spelt in her Passport as Dorkus. However the Arua gazelle isn't bothered since her surname, Inzikuru, which translates as 'no respect' is intact. Therefore, with her no respect to any opponent means Uganda will continue counting on her for medals in any competition she is involved in.

Fact File:
Name: Dorkus Inzikuru
Born: Feb 11th,1982
Place: Arua
Race: 3,000M steeple chase
P.B: 9:15;04 seconds

Progression: 2005 [9:39;04], 2004 [9:29;30], 2003 [9:39;51]
Some of the titles:

  • Commonwealth Games [Gold]
  • IAAF World Athletic Championships [Gold]
  • World Championships Games[Gold]

    Related Links

  • The Greatest Ugandan Ever! Part 2
  • 2005: A Year of Upsets and Revolutions
  • IAAF Profile Biography: Docus INZIKURU (UGA)
  • Inzikuru wins debut steeplechase
  • Rollison smashes best for silver
  • Inzikurus parents miss historic race
  • Golden Dorcus Inzikuru - The New Vision Coverage in Melbourne 2006
  • By Ramathan Kasozi
    more from author >>
    First published: June 27, 2006
    To learn more about Ultimate Media Consult go to www.ultimatemediaconsult.com.

    Ramathan Kasozi is a member of Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd. . A graduate Journalist, Kasozi has more than 5 years experience reporting on sports in Uganda for different print and broadcast media houses.