African Colors at the Rio 2016 Olympics

Rio2016_1Thus far, African colors have been flying high at the Rio 2016 olympics, with 31 medals. Here are the names and the medals by country. Congratulations to all the athletes. They make us proud!

Chad LeClos – 200 m freestyle (South Africa) – Silver

LeClos
Chad LeClos

Chad LeClos – 100 m butterfly (South Africa) – Silver

Shaun Keeling – Rowing (South Africa) – Silver   

Cameron van Der Burgh – 100 m breaststroke ( South Africa) – Silver

Dylan Sage – Rugby (South Africa) – Bronze

Seabelo Senatla – Rugby (South Africa) – Bronze

Lawrence Brittain – Rowing (South Africa) – Silver

Rudisha
David Rudisha

David Rudisha – 800 m men (Kenya) – Gold

Taoufik Makhloufi – 800 m men (Algeria) – Silver

Sara Ahmed – weightlifting women (Egypt) – Bronze

Mohamed Mahmoud – weightlifting men (Egypt) – Bronze

Hedaya Malak – Taekwondo women (Egypt) – Bronze

Marwa Amri – Wrestling – less than 58 kg (Tunisia) – Bronze

Ines Boubakri – Fencing (Tunisia) – Bronze  

Ayana1
Almaz Ayana

Almaz Ayana – 10000 m women (Ethiopia) – Gold

Vivian Cheruiyot – 10000 m women (Kenya) – Silver

Tirunesh Dibaba – 10000 m women (Ethiopia) – Bronze

Jemima Sumgong – Women Marathon (Kenya) – Gold

Mare Dibaba – Women Marathon (Ethiopia) – Bronze

Niekerk
Wayde van Niekerk

Wayde van Niekerk – 400 m men (South Africa) – Gold

Hyvin Jepkemoi – 3000 m steeplechase (Kenya) – Silver

Mohamed Rabii – Weight Welters men 69 kg (Morocco) – Silver

Faith Kipyegon – 1500 m women (Kenya) – Gold

Gensebe Dibaba – 1500 m women (Ethiopia) – Silver

Conseslus Kipruto – 3000 m men steeplechase (Kenya) – Gold

Paul Tanui – 10000 m men (Kenya) – Silver

Kipyegon1
Faith Kipyegon

Tamirat Tola – 10000 m men (Ethiopia) – Bronze

Luvo Manyonga – Long jump men (South Africa) – Silver

Sunette Viljoen – Women javelin (South Africa) – Silver

Henri Schoeman – Triathlon men (South Africa) – Bronze

Boniface Mucheru – 400 m hurdles men (Kenya) – Silver

London 2012 Olympics: the African Contribution

Oussama Mellouli
Oussama Mellouli

Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia won Gold in the 10 km marathon open water, to become the first swimmer to ever win olympic medals in both the pool and open water.  He had also won bronze in the 1500m freestyle in London, and was the Beijing Gold winner for 1500m freestyle.

Tirunesh Dibaba, the baby-face destroyer, took Gold in 10,000 m run to retain her title, and bronze in the 5000 m. I will take this opportunity to salute her for running in the 5000m even after suffering a harmstring the day before the 5000m run.  Kenyans  Sally Kipyego and Vivian Cheruiyot won silver and bronze respectively in the 10,000mMeseret Defar took the gold in the 5000m, reclaiming back the gold medal she had won in 2004 during the Athens Olympics, but had lost in 2008 to Tirunesh Dibaba.  Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot took the silver home in the 5000m, followed by Tirunesh Dibaba.

Tariku Bekele, Kenenisa Bekele‘s little brother took the bronze medal in the men’s 10,000m.

David Rudisha (followed by Nijel Amos)
David Rudisha (followed by Nijel Amos)

David Rudisha of Kenya, became the first man to break a record at the London Olympics, in the 800m.  He ran the 800 m with such majesty and speed, he almost looked like an impala, very graceful.  Nijel Amos won a silver medal to offer Botswana its very first Olympic medal; while Timothy Kitum of Kenya took home the bronze medal.

Caster Semenya of South Africa won a silver medal in the women’s 800m run.  Watching her run, one could already see the potential, and had she not started far in the back, I believe she would have won the gold medal.

Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria stunned us by getting disqualified from the olympics because of ‘not trying hard enough’ (whatever that means) in the men’s 800m, getting reinstated, and then going on to win the gold medal by a huge margin, in the 1500m.  He definitely made us proud… telling us that one can always beat all the odds.  Moroccan Abdalaati Iguider took home the bronze medal.

Caster Semenya
Caster Semenya

Ezekiel Kemboi won gold in the 3000 m steeplechase, while his Kenyan compatriot Abel Kiprop Mutai took the bronze.

South Africa is the African country who won the most medals at the London Olympics, with three gold, two silver, and one bronze medals.  Swimmers Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh both won gold in 200m butterfly and 100m breaststroke respectively.  Chad also took home the silver medal for the 100m butterflySizwe Ndlovu, John Smith, Matthew Brittain, and James Thompson of South Africa won gold in the men’s lightweight four.

Ethiopian Tiki Gelana won gold in the women’s marathon, followed by Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo.

Anthony Obame wins Silver
Anthony Obame wins Silver

Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich claimed the gold medal in the men’s marathon, making it Uganda’s first gold medal since 1972.  He was followed by two Kenyans who won silver and bronzeAbel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang.

Anthony Obame won Gabon’s first ever medal, by claiming the silver medal in taekwondo.

Alaeeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt won silver in fencing, becoming Africa’s first medal in fencing.

Overall, although I was quite disappointed by the performance of the Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes, particularly that of Kenenisa Bekele, I salute those who raised our flags high and made us proud of being Africans.  I am sure children in Botswana would now take to running like Nijel Amos, and I am sure children in Gabon will join taekwondo’s clubs like Obame, while Tunisians will learn to swim as well as Oussama Mellouli who made them all extremely proud.

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.

Quick note: African Olympians thus far…

Chad le Clos during the final 200 m butterfly
Chad le Clos during the final 200 m butterfly at the 2012 Olympics

Yesterday, July 31st, South African Chad le Clos defeated the great Michael Phelps (19 times olympic medalist – with 16 gold medals thus far – cited as being the Greatest olympian of all times) in Men’s 200 m Butterfly, and won the Gold medal.

Alaaedin Aboulkassem
Alaaedin Aboulkassem, after qualifying for the final for fencing at the 2012 Olympics

Last Sunday, July 29th,  South African Cameron van der Burgh won Gold medal in Men’s 100 m Breaststroke.

Watch out for Alaaedin Abouelkassem of Egypt who qualified yesterday for the final in Fencing, and will get either a Gold or a Silver medal in Fencing!

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