GNOC sponsors Gambian team to Porto Novo Games
Friday, June 15, 2012
The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) will take care of the Gambian team’s participation at the 18th edition of the biannual Senior Africa Athletics Championships starting from June 26 to July 1 in Porto Novo, Benin Republic. The Gambian delegation will be made up a 13-member team which will include 10 athletes and three officials. The GNOC will provide for the air ticket, travel allowance and travel insurance of the entire team.
came barely a month after the Momodou Dibba-led GNOC provided GMD20,000 to all
the national sports associations for their 2012 subvention and also promised
for the annual availability of the subventions. Benin
government is pumping in over US$5 million with the remainder of the US$7.5
million budget expected to come from the sponsors and IAAF.
However, there is a likelihood that elite athletes from Africa will miss out as countries might send in a second-string side as they put their focus on the Olympic Games, which will be coming in a month later in London. But there will be no such move from The Gambia as the country has named a strong team for the championship.
The Gambian delegation will be headed by Amira Ghanim Jagne, with Bamba Njie as coach and Modou Njie from the Gambia National Olympic Committee. The athletes are, Suwaibou Sanneh, Nusrat Ceesay, Elliot Mensah, Sarouba Colley, Fanny Shonobi, Adama Jammeh, Mustapha Manga, Isaac Jones, Abdoulie Assim and Omar Jammeh.
From the list, Nusrat Ceesay and Elliot Mensah have been booked from London to Benin and back to the United Kingdom while Suwaibou Sanneh has been booked from Italy to Benin and to Banjul. Suwaibou, Observer Sports can reveal needs to come back to Banjul in order to renew his Italy Visa before joining his team in the European country. Isaac Jones will also join the rest of the Gambian team from Dakar, Senegal to Benin from his base at the Dakar International Training Centre.
Though Suwaibou Sanneh has qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games, other athletes like Nusrat Ceesay will use the seven-day event as her final opportunity to secure qualification for next month’s Games in her country of birth. Ceesay’s participation in the event to be held at the Stade Charles de Gaulle was revealed by the athlete herself in a comment posted on the wall of her public networking site facebook Tuesday morning as reported by Observer Sports in our Wednesday edition. Nusrat competed at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique last year but failed to secure qualification to London after she finished 6th position out of seven in the heat 1 of the women’s 400m hurdles with a timing of 59.22secs.
But the 30-year-old Nusrat, who has broken two consecutive records for the country after running 58.46 seconds in August last year in Belgium before improving on that record to run 58.20 seconds in the 400m hurdles few days later is expected to do well in order to secure qualification for the Olympics.
There will be a full house in Porto Nova when the continent meets for the Championships as 53 countries have confirmed their participation for the championships, which will be the last opportunity for African athletes eyeing Olympic qualification to hit their mark. The only African country that will however not be among the countries to compete in Benin is the continent’s newest nation, South Sudan which still has to represent its bid to join athletics family to the IAAF council for endorsement.
Author: Baboucarr Camara