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Gambian representatives at London Olympics opening ceremony wearing APRC Green fatgues!

Three officials led by Momodou Demba, the development officer of the Gambian National Olympic Committee (GNOC) and Gambia Chef De Mission, joined only three participants at the London Olympics opening ceremony to represent the Country.

Old and frail looking men with one female were seen representing the Gambia, when the name of the country was announced at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on Friday 27th July 2012.

An angry viewer of the event, who contacted Kibaaro News, asked why this has become the trend in the Gambia, as if no one cares. A former athlete, who also contacted us, accused the Gambian Olympic Committee of being bias by denying deserving athletes the opportunity to travel to represent the country at the Olympics.

Some Gambians said they were embarrassed to see their country’s representatives dressed in complete green outfit, which symbolizes the ruling APRC flag. They wondered why they did not wear any of our colourful national outfits.

The Gambia National Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association was formed in 1972, under the stewardship of Mr Omar Sey. The former Director of Youth and Sports, who later became the President of the organization that attained full membership of the International Olympic Committee four years later. His prominent successors  were Alhaji A .B. Dandeh-Njie elected President of the Association and Alhaji A.M Touray Secretary General.

Gambia’s first attendance of Olympic and also its biggest to date was in 1984 when all the 10 athletes competed at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. They included twins Paul and Peter Ceesay who took part in the 1, 500 and 800 meter events, respectively. Though no medal was won, the spirit of the game kicked off in Banjul with young aspirants showing talents. One such talent was Jay Suma Saidy-Ndure who had so much hopes of a silver wear in sprinting. He was reported to be frustrated with the corrupt system of sport officials in Banjul, prompting his decision to run for Norway where he later naturalized.

In the last trials for qualification held in Dakar Senegal from the 15th – 16th May 2010 attended by Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Benin, Mauritania and Cape Verde in Pre-Olympic Youth Qualification for West Africa Region; Gambia scored the following positions. What had happened after that became a complete mystery, with people questioning how the country’s representatives made it to London.

1. Fatou Sowe 100m Girls 2nd position Heat 1 timing 12.50Q, 100m Girls 3rd position Final timing (12.48).

2. Gina Bass 200m Girls 2nd position Heat timing 25.6Q,

3. Ousman Gibba 100m Boys 2nd position Heat 1 timing (10.88),

4. Ebrima Saine 400m boys 4thposition Heat1 timing (11.09)

5. Momodou Lamin Kujabi 400m boys 2ndposition Heat1 timing (49.93)

6. Fatou Sowe 100m girls 3rd position Final timing (26.62)

7. Gina Bass 200m girls 2nd position Heat timing (12.29)

8. Fatou Sowe 200m girls 5th position Final timing (26.85)

9. Ousman Gibba 100m boys 6th position Final timing (11.16) 200m boys 2nd position Final timing (21.88)

10. Momodou Lamin Kujabi 400m boys 3rd position Final timing (49.46).

The Gambian team came out 2nd position in the final 4x1x2x3x4 men’s relay. The team comprised Ousman Gibba, Ebrima Saine, Momodou Lamin Kujabi and Omar Jammeh with a record timing of (1.57.24) and Omar Jammeh came 1st in the 1000m boys final.

Out of all the above performances, there were no mention of either Suwaibou Sanneh or Sariba Colley who are representing the Gambia at this year’s Olympics. Sariba clocked her best performance at the Benin trials clocking 12.12 in women’s 100m race. Suwaibou Sanneh is expected to make his debut on Saturday 4th of August 2012 at 11.30 am GM in the men’s 100m race.

Three athletes represented Gambia at the Beijing Olympics, where two competed in 100m races; one in boxing. All three athletes in Beijing were eliminated in the first rounds. However, there too, the country was represented more by officials than athletes.

Gambia has few highlights to report on Olympic success, but Dawda Jallow came seventh in 400m at Seoul in 1988, reaching the quarter finals.


  Medal total:                           0

  Medals per head:                 0

Olympic debut:                    1984

Total Games appearances:   7


the attachments to this post:


Sariba Colley

Swaibu Sanneh


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