Feb 10, 2012, 11:58 AM
Gambia team to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games returned home on Friday after an
encouraging performance restoring more hope for the country in the next Olympic
Games in Tokyo 2020.
The delegation was received at the Banjul International Airport by officials from the Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) headed by second vice president Abdoulie Jallow, officials from the Gambia Athletics Association, a group of cyclists from the Gambia Cycling Association and a cross section of the press.
Despite not winning medals at the Games, the Gambian delegation used their presence in Rio to network with partners with the aim of ushering more international support to the development of Gambian sport.
In addition to the US $75,000.00 worth of equipment and sports infrastructure from the president of the International Handball Association (IHF) to the Gambia Handball Association, the Gambia National Olympic Committee leadership had a fruitful meeting with organizers of next year’s Islamic Games Baku 2017.
The delegation comprising GNOC president Momodou Dibba, secretary general Peter Prom and treasurer Ousman Wadda discussed the possibility for the organizers of the games to support Gambia’s participation as they intend to register nine (9) sports associations to the games in Azerbaijan.
According to the GNOC treasurer, Ousman Wadda, who doubles as chairman of the Technical Committee of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF), the outcome of the meeting at the sideline of the Rio games was positive as Baku 2017 organizers have promised to explore ways of supporting The Gambia’s participation to the Islamic Games.
In another development, another GNOC team comprising first vice president and IOC member Mrs Beatrice Allen and treasurer Ousman Wadda met the president of Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) in a bid to get support for martial arts (Judo, Karate, and Taekwondo) and athletics in preparation for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
It would be noted that The Gambia competed in athletics, judo and swimming at the just concluded 31st Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Athletes Adama Jammeh and Miss Gina Bass finished 5th in their 200m heats and were ranked 38th and 52nd positions respectively while Gambian finish-based judoka Faye Njie lost to Kazakhstan’s champion Didar Khamza on technical point after five minutes of tough fight.
The Gambia’s young swimmer Pap D. Jonga competed in the 50m freestyle and finished 8th position with the timing of 27.48 which was not enough to get him to the second round.