John Ngugi Biography
John Ngugi was born on 10th May 1962 in Kigumo, Muranga county. He is a former Kenyan long-distance runner who won the gold medal in the 1988 olympic 5000 metres run in Seoul.
John Ngugi Early Life and Education
As a boy, aged 3, young Ngugi moved with his parents to Ol Kalou in Nyandarua. His father, Kamau Thirunga, and mother, Gladys Waithera, were settled in Ngano settlement scheme along with other poor immigrants from the Kiambu, Muranga and Nyeri districts of Kenya’s Central Province. They were peasants, who depended largely on state support for the survival.
In 1970, John Ngugi was enrolled in Munga Primary School, which he attended up to Standard Three.
John Ngugi Career
While in primary school he used to run well during games. Steven Mucheru who was the Nyandarua district sports officer heard of his potential and asked him to try out with local authority athletes and he even won prizes.
In 1984, he was employed as an army civilian. In the same year he ran 5000m in olympic trials, finishing fourth in Nakuru and fifth in Kisumu.
In 1985, he was employed as a soldier and taken for training in Lanet. After training he was posted to the workshop battalion in Kahawa garrison , Nairobi. In the same year he won the 1500m at the East and Central African championship in Cairo. Then he went to Seoul in an olympic dresss rehearsal and he emerged second.
In 1986, he won his first world cross in Switzerland.
John Ngugi established himself as a track runner when he won his heat of the 5000 m at the 1987 World Championships in Rome. In the final, John Ngugi took the lead during the second kilometre, but despite his front running tactics, he was outsprinted in the finish, finishing in a disappointing twelfth place. He won 5000 metres race in the 1987 All-Africa Games held in Kenya.
At the Seoul Olympic Games, John Ngugi took the lead after the kilometre and achieved a 50 m lead. Although his lead was reduced when the expected sprints came in the last lap, John Ngugi still managed to win by 30 metres.
At the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand, John Ngugi tried exactly the same tactics which had won him the Olympic gold medal. Although he tripped and fell after only two laps and lost 35 m on the rest of the field, he managed to catch the leading group and establish a gap of 40 m at the bell. But in this time, that wasn’t enough, as Andrew Lloyd from Australia won by a mere 0.08 seconds in an incredible finishing burst.
John Ngugi returned in 1992 to capture the World Cross Country title for the fifth time. That was his final appearance at a major international championships before his retirement.
John Ngugi Suspension
In 1993 John Ngugi refused to take an out-of-competition drug test, and he then received a four-year suspension for the infraction. He contested the ruling, spending $80,000 of his own money to fight his case in Monaco. His ban was later reduced as it was judged that the Kenya Athletics Federation had not followed its duty of educating its athletes about out-of-competition testing and that Ngugi had a limited education. However, the long battle to contest the decision brought an end to his running career as his physical fitness had heavily declined over the period