I starved myself to represent Gambia –says wrestler

By Sulayman Bah
First-hand account of grueling exercises wrestlers underwent in a bidPapa Sowe
to meet Ecowas categories has emerged after Papa Sowe decided to go
“I had to starve myself so as to drop my weight to meet the correct
Ecowas weight requirement. Going on empty stomach and forced trainingwas the only option,”revealed Papa Sowe, one of the wrestlers in
Gambia’ selected five –man national team, which recently returned from
Ecowas wrestling competition in Senegal.
Gambia had a late preparation for the regional event amid reports of
financial constraints affecting the wrestling squad.
On his assessment of what went wrong to lead Gambia to her eventual
fourth-place finish, the Kotu Quarry Mbolloh wrestler did not hold
back. Sowe explained how he was lately notified of the Ecowas tourney
in a very short notice thus forcing him to abandon his preparation for
the ‘Tobaski’ feast.
On how he was able to meet the 66kg requirement in order to compete in
the tourney, the emerging wrestler said he was forced by circumstance
to exercise under tough conditions which included self-starving to
drop weight giving the promptness of the championship.
“We definitely lacked support. The preparation wasn’t the best. It was
difficult and played a big part in our position in the tourney,” he
Gambia competed against thirteen countries namely hosts Senegal,
Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Togo,
Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Burkina Faso.