Gambian athletes to leave for HPTC today

Nov 6, 2020, 11:28 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Five Gambian athletes will today, Friday leave The Gambia for the High Performance Training Center (HPTC) in Dakar, Senegal to continue their preparations for the qualifiers ahead on the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.

The athletes, Gina Bass, Adama Jammeh, Sengan Jobe, Ebrima Camara and Alieu Joof compete in 100 metre and 200 metre events.

Meanwhile, Gina has secured her qualification to represent The Gambia at the 2021 Olympics in the women's 100 metre and 200 metre events.

Speaking at their farewell held at GNOC conference hall, Muhammed Janneh, Executive Director Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) said due to the postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021 the athletes preparing for the Olympic Games scholarship has been extended to 2021 by IOC.

He added that before the postponement of the Olympic Games their scholarship should have ended in August this year.

Mr. Janneh stated that as a result of the covid-19 pandemic they withdrew the athletes from the High Performance Training Center in Dakar, adding that since then they have been training individually in The Gambia.

He explained that the center is about to reopen and for this reason they are sending the athletes to continue their training.

He reminded them that their purpose of leaving The Gambia is to focus on their training in a bid to secure their qualification for Tokyo 2021.

Abdoulie Jallow, Secretary General Gambia National Olympic Committee advised them to be cautious knowing that covid-19 is still around and has no boundaries.

Mr. Jallow added that they are hopeful the other four athletes will also secure their qualification for the Olympic Games.

He said: “we hope there is enough opportunity for you (athletes) to secure you qualification”, he went on.

SG Jallow noted that there are also potentials for Beach Volleyball, Swimming and Judo to qualify for the Olympic Games, observing that Faye Njie (Judo) is doing very well in his preparation for his qualification and has been gaining points through his competitions.

“The NOC will ensure we avail the opportunity to all athletes and volleyball team to have possible options for qualifications”, he further said.

He also said that the pandemic affected third world countries the most with athletes not having facilities they can use like athletes in developed countries, but was quick to add that they hope Gambia will get more develop facilities in future.

“The center is safe and coaches are ready for athletes and with the determination of athletes am sure they are ready too”, Jallow also said.

He told athletes that they have earned GNOC’s respect and admiration on how they have comported themselves at the center and in The Gambia, saying they have no doubt they will continue the same momentum. He also assured them of GNOC’s support to ensure they secure their qualification.

Adama Jammeh, athletes’ representative on GNOC board said they are going to Dakar to ensure they secure their qualifications and not go to the Olympics through while cards.

According to him, Gambian athletes going to the Olympics with while cards is a thing of the past as they are determine to work very hard and secure their qualifications.

He added that them going to Senegal will help them focus more on their training. He assured GNOC and Gambians that they will work harder knowing it is Olympic year and they have lost so many hours of training because of the pandemic. “We will also ensure we always stay safe in Dakar”, he concluded.