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RIO 2016: Profiles of Gambian Olympians

Jul 26, 2016, 11:31 AM | Article By: Namory Trawally, GNOC Information Assistant

Adama Jammeh aims to end Gambia’s wait for Olympic Medal

One of the finest male athletes in The Gambia today, Adama Jammeh, will be the star act in a Gambian side that is heading to Rio 2016 with designs on winning the one major medal that still eludes the smallest West African state. 

“If Gambia have yet to win a medal that we’re all dreaming about, then it means our time is still to come,” says a philosophical Adama Jammeh as he contemplates his country’s  longstanding unfulfilled quest for Olympic medal.

In the 2012 London Olympics, The Gambia was represented by Suwaibou Sanneh, who was eliminated in the semifinals of the 100m.

For this year’s Summer Olympic Games, The Gambia will be represented by sprinters Adama Jammeh and Miss Gina Bass as well as Finland-based Gambian judoka Fye Alex Njie and swimmer Modou Jonga.

Adama Jammeh secured his place at the Games by winning silver and finishing within the qualification time at the finals of the African Seniors Athletics Championship in Durban, South Africa, in June.

Gambians are banking on their star man Adama Jammeh to help them accomplish that cherished objective.

Born on 10 June 1993 in Sitanunku Village in Nuimi, North Bank Region, the Gambia Prison Services officer got himself noticed at an early age thanks to his speed on the track.

Seen his potential, The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) offered him an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship to train at the IAAAF High Performance Center in Dakar, Senegal, through recommendation from The Gambia Athletics Association (GAA).

Since then Adama Jammeh has kept his performance ascending in the past two years.

He has set his personal best (PB) in all the major competitions he took part from 2014 to date.

He clocked 40.57 in the 400m in African Senior Championship in April 2014 in Abidjan, finalist in the 200m at the All African Games in Brazzaville, Congo, where he was ranked 4th in Africa, 10.25 in Montgeron, France, in the 100m in May 2016 and finally broke the national record in the 200m with a time of 20.45, silver medalist and Olympic qualification at the Africa Senior Athletics Championship held in Durban, South Africa, in June 2016.

The Olympic experience

To ensure he is fit and prepare to go for the Rio Games, the 23-year-old was awarded scholarship by the Gambia National Olympic Committee to train at the Italian Olympic Committee training centre in Formia ahead of the games.

“I’ve competed at the World Athletics Championship in Beijing, China, and two African Championships and the Olympic Games will complete the set. I’m going to be so happy about it,” he said.