By Sulayman Bah
The four, namely Edrissa Marong, 800m, Sengan Jobe, 200m and the Medley Relay comprising Momodou Sey, Sulayman Manneh and Sengan Jobe, clinched bronze medals at the African Championships held in Mauritius from 23 to 26 April 2015.
The Gambia team, comprising four athletes and a coach, were airlifted by the Gambia Olympic Bureau.
Athletics boss Dodou Capi Joof, at the presentation, lauded the GNOC leadership for coming to their aid.
“When we were preparing for the championship, I had two options, first was to seek for funds from the Ministry of Youth and Sports through the National Sports Council (NSC) but three days before the championship we were told that there were no funds to airlift the athletes. So I turned to my second option which was approaching the GNOC and fortunately for us they were able to sponsor four (4) out of the seven athletes and a coach that were registered for the championship” GAA president pointed out.
Team head gaffer Mariama Sallah said the Mauritius trip wasn’t an easy one, revealing, Gambian athletes had only twenty minutes in the Medley Relay finals which she said impacted on the team’s performance.
“Because we did not travel with more athletes, we were forced to settle for four athletes doing all the events” she says.
Receiving the team, the first Vice President of GNOC and IOC Member Mrs Beatrice Allen said the GNOC management is proud of the athletes because during the send-off ceremony they promised to bring medals and they have kept to their words by snatching three (3) bronze medals.
Beatrice Allen, Gambia’s IOC Member who also doubles as chairperson of Africa Women in Sports Commission reassured of GNOC’s continuous support of sports development.