12 Days into the Games: African Olympians thus far….

Taoufik Makhloufi after winning the 1500 m
Taoufik Makhloufi after winning the 1500 m (source: telegraph.co.uk)

I just wanted to give you an update on all our African medalists at the 2012 London Olympics.

Taoufik Makhloufi, of Algeria, won Gold in the 1500m Men yesterday, after a display of courage and determination. He was disqualified on Monday for not putting enough effort in the Men’s 800m qualifiers, and then later on reinstated, and went on to winning Gold in the 1500m. Such drama! Abdalaati Iguider of Morocco won the bronze in the 1500m Men, after Taoufik.

Tirunesh Dibaba, the baby face destroyer, destroyed her competitors on the 10,000m women’s race. It was lovely to watch her sprint to the finish. We long for a repeat on the 5,000m women’s race which will take place this Friday. The Kenyans Sally Kipyego and Vivian Cheruiyot won silver and bronze respectively.

On the men’s 10,000mKenenisa Bekele disappointed us. Frankly all Africans top runners disappointed us. It was mostly a show of African top runners elbowing each other to stop the other from winning (Kenyans, Ethiopians, and Erythreans) and cornering Kenenisa… and that’s how the British-Somalian Mo Farah won.  Basically, our brothers just went for the ‘crab’ politics.  Disappointing!  Tariku Bekele, Kenenisa’s brother, saved the day by winning the bronze medal.

Tirunesh Dibaba, after winning the 10,000 m race in London 2012
Tirunesh Dibaba, after winning the 10,000 m race in London 2012

The Men’s 3000m Steeplechase was won by Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya who took gold, while another compatriot, Abel Kiprop Mutai took the bronze. In the women’s 3000 m SteeplechaseSofia Assefa of Ethiopia won the bronze medal.

The Women’s marathon was won by Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia who set a new olympic record, and was followed by Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya with silver.

As said earlier, Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt won Silver in Men’s Foil Fencing.

In swimming, Tunisian Oussama Mellouli took Bronze in the Men’s 1500m freestyle.  South African Chad le Clos took Silver in the Men’s 100m butterfly, and gold in the Men’s 200m butterflyCameron van der Burgh, another South African, won the gold medal in the Men’s 100m breaststroke.

In rowing, the South Africans James Thompson, Matthew Brittain, Sizwe Ndlovu, and John Smith, captured gold in the Men’s Lightweight Four, thus winning South Africa’s first rowing medal.

African Athletes to Watch for at the 2012 London Olympics

2012 London Olympics
2012 London Olympics

With the start of the 2012 London Olympics, I thought about giving you a hint as to who to look out for, and who are those brilliant athletes representing the continent at the Olympics.  Here is a list of some of the outstanding ones… There is no particular order.  If I have missed a big one, please send me his/her name.

 

Athletes Country Discipline Achievements
Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia 5,000m & 10,000m Reigning world and Olympic champion (male)
Tirunesh Dibaba Ethiopia 5,000m & 10,000m Reigning world and Olympic champion (female)
Cameron van der Burgh South Africa Swimming Gold medalist 100 m breaststroke 2012 olympics
Amantle Montsho Botswana 400 m & 800 m track & field African champion
Jonathan Akinyemi Nigeria Canoe-Kayak
Blessing Okagbare Nigeria 100 m, long and triple jump 2008 Olympics Bronze medalist long jump
Caster Semenya South Africa 800 m, 1500 m 2011 World Champion Silver medal (800m)
Vivian Cheruiyot Kenya 5000 m 2009 world champion
Silas Kiplagat Kenya 1500 m 2010 Commonwealth gold champion
Tosin Oke Nigeria Triple jump 2011 All-African Games gold medalist
Ruddy Zang Milama Gabon 100 m 2012 African champion
Taoufik Makhloufi Algeria 800 m, 1500 m 2012 African champion (800 m)
Alaaedin Abouelkassem Egypt Men’s Fencing 2010 World Junior champion
Ndiss Kaba Badji Senegal Long jump 2012 African champion
Pamela Jelimo Kenya 800 m 2008 Olympic Gold medalist
Kirsty Coventry Zimbabwe Swimming Olympic Gold medalist 2004, 2008 (2 gold, 4 silver, & 1 bronze olympic medals)
Khotso Mokoena South Africa Long jumper 2008 Olympic silver medalist
Antonia de Fatima Faia Angola Judo Bronze medalist World champion
Zersenay Tadese Erithrea 10,000 m 2004 Olympic bronze medalist
Wilson Kipsang Kenya Marathon 2012 London Marathon winner
Mary Keitany Kenya Marathon 2012 London Marathon winner
Amaechi Morton Nigeria 400 m hurdles 2012 African championship gold medalist
Oscar Pistorius South Africa 100m, 200m, 400 m 2004, 2008 paralympic gold medalist
Samuel Kamau Wanjiru Kenya Marathon 2008 Olympic gold medalist
Chad le Clos South Africa Swimming (200 m butterfly) Commonwealth gold medalist
Benjamin Boukpeti Togo Canoe (K-1 Kayak single) 2008 Olympic bronze medalist
Oussama Mellouli Tunisia 1500 m freestyle swimming 2008 olympic Gold medalist