The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports have applauded the performance of Gambian athletes at the just concluded Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Addressing the Gambian delegation at their residence at the Olympic village after the competition, the President of GNOC Alhagie Momodou Dibba said the performances of Gambian Olympians in athletics, swimming and judo need to be applauded.
He said Adama Jammeh finished 5th in his group and ranked 38th out of 80 in the games, Gina Bass also finished 5th in her heat and was ranked 52nd out of 85 competitors.
“Judoka Faye Njie and Swimmer Pap D. Jonga have made impact as debutants in the Olympic Games.”
He said it took great efforts from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Gambia National Olympic Committee, the Athletics Association, the coaches and the athletes to achieve such results in Rio.
The Secretary General of GNOC, Peter Prom said they were very proud of the athletes; that they are not disappointed with the performance of the athletes.
“You have given GNOC the courage to do more for next Olympics as scholarship provided to athletes from Olympic Solidarity through GNOC have paid dividend,” he reassured the athletes.
He said sports associations, athletes and GNOC should complement each other’s efforts for better and progressive results at world stage.
He asserted that all the four athletes; namely Adama Jammeh, Gina Bass (athletics); Faye Njie (Judo) and Pap D. Jonga (swimming) have made the country proud among big nations despite the meager resources.
Ousman Wadda, the GNOC treasurer, hailed the athletes and urged them to remain focused and that as an Olympic committee they would do anything possible in their powers to support sports in The Gambia. “Gambia has been sending wildcard at Olympic Games from 1984 up to 2012 in London when Suwaibou Sanneh got an Olympic qualification standard in 100m and another barrier has been broken when Miss Gina Bass and Adama Jammeh got Olympic qualification to Rio in 200m which are good achievements.”
He said when it comes to scholarship for athletes and coaches, they are doing a good number of consultations to make sure more are provided for Gambians.
Wada went on to hail the athletes for their commitment and sacrifice for the nation despite the limited resources.
Dodou Capi Joof, the President of Gambia Athletics Association, used the opportunity to thank GNOC for their support to the athletes by providing scholarship for them and footing the bill of the athletes and officials to the Games in Rio.
“We can have more qualified athletes to the Games if this opportunity is expanded to other areas,” he concluded.
Addressing the athletes before leaving Rio back to Gambia, the Executive Director of the National Sports Council (NSC) Marcel Mendy said the performance of the athletes was quite impressive.
He urged the athletes to remain focused as getting to the top is one thing, but to remain there is another thing.
He hailed the comportment of the athletes as exemplary. “We at NSC analyse all aspects of our sportsmen and women including behaviour and we are very proud of your behaviour and attitude, which is a source of encouragement and motivation for us to support you in your career.”
NSC boss finally thanked GNOC leadership for the financial support to the athletes toward the Rio 2016 Games.
Meanwhile, as the 2016 Olympic Games winded up and the Gambian delegation has started heading home.
Judoka Faye Njie and his coach Robert left Rio on Wednesday, August 17 and have safely arrived at their base in Finland.
The delegation to Banjul will leave Rio on Wednesday, August 24th and are expected in Banjul on Friday.
Story Source: Namory Trawally in Rio, Brazil