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Gambia athletes return from Abidjan with victory

Apr 10, 2012, 3:11 PM | Article By: Adama K. Jallow

The Gambian Athletes who took part in a junior championship on Saturday landed at the Banjul International Airport after making it in the International Junior Athletes’ Championship in Abidjan.

The delegation led by the Gambia Athletics Association’s President Dodou Capi Joof, together with Coach Malang  Ceesay and other four Gambian athletes, made it for the country by raising The Gambia’s flag in the championship.

The athletes were able to make a remarkable history for the country.

In the 100m boys of the competition, Adama Jammeh came out 1st with a timing of 10.56 seconds, achieving a Gold medal. In the 100m girls, Ginna Bass came out 3rd with a timing of 12.17 seconds, achieving a Bronze medal.

In the 200m boys, Adama Jammeh came out 1st with a timing of 21.27 seconds, achieving a Gold medal.

In the 200m girls, Ginna Bass also came out 3rd with a timing of 24.67 seconds, achieving a Bronze medal.

Likewise in the 800m boys, Omar Jammeh took 2nd with a timing of 52.93 seconds, achieving a Silver medal, while in the 400m girls, Hawa J. Jallow took 4th with a timing of 59.04 seconds.

Comparing to last year’s results, this year’s demonstrated that the Gambian athletes have improved drastically as they were able to run at higher speed in lesser time, thereby beating their counterparts.

Speaking to the press shortly after their arrival, Mr Joof, president of the Gambia Athletics Association (GAA), who was there as member of the African Council and coordinator for the games, expressed his delight at the performance of the Gambian athletes in making the country proud.

He said the competition was represented by almost 12 countries and The Gambia defeating those countries was a great joy for him.

Mr Joof revealed that Ghana and Nigeria, which were known to be the powerhouse of the springs, were defeated by The Gambia, which is a great achievement for The Gambia.

He however said The Gambia could have done much better had the country fielded in more athletes. “But due to insufficient funds,  we were able to take only  four athletes out of 24 who were selected for the competition at a cost of D179,000,” he said.

The GAA president appealed to the government, the NGOs, the sports ministry and individuals to come to their aid to support the Gambian athletes, “which will be a great help” to them.

He further urged the athletes to work collectively, respect and obey their coaches.

Coach  Malang  Ceesay, thanked the government, the association and everyone who contributed in making the trip a success.

He also congratulated the athletes for the love they have shown for the country, adding that if they are given the opportunities, they will surely make it, because they have the talents and are willing to do it.

Adama Jammeh spoke on behalf of his colleges, saying The Gambia being the smallest country in the competition, was able to emerge champions in Abidjan.

“If the athletes are given the needed supports, they will surely make it in any competition,” he said.

Adama , who was qualified for the Barcelona Youth Games in Barcelona, has however been disqualified from participating in that championship because of age.

Asked about his reaction to the unforunate situation, he said he did not feel bad about it, but would rather concentrate on what he can do in the future and how to defeat senior athletes.