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

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

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  

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

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

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

2012: The Joys of Africa – Who/What did we celebrate?

The Africa Cup of Nations/ La Coupe d'Afrique des Nations
The African Cup of Nations/ La Coupe d’Afrique des Nations

2012 was also a year of joy in Africa. Africa celebrated quite a few people and events:

1. The African National Congress (ANC) celebrated its 100 years of existence (January 2012).

2. Zambia won the African Cup of Nations 2012 by defeating the great selection of Côte d’Ivoire in the finals (February 2012).

3. Senegal went through a peaceful, democratic transition, with the election of Macky Sall (March 2012).

4. Africa got its 2nd female president: Mrs Joyce Banda of Malawi (April 2012).

5. President Laurent Gbagbo‘s hearing at the International Criminal Court (ICC) was scheduled for June 18, 2012, but was postponed to August 13, 2012, and now has been postponed indefinitely.  Apparently the ICC cannot find proofs of all their allegations against Laurent Gbagbo, and thus prefer stalling.

The VMK (Source: VMK)
The VMK (Source: VMK)

6. 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 (August 2012).

7. David Rudisha of Kenya, became the first man to break a record at the London Olympics, in the 800m (August 2012).

8. Alaeeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt won silver in fencing, becoming Africa’s first medal in fencing (August 2012).

9. Rwandan writer, Scholastique Mukasonga, won the prestigious French Prix Renaudot for her book “Notre Dame du Nil” (November 2012).

10. Verone Mankou, a Congolese inventor, presented the first tablet and smartphone entirely engineered in Africa (December 2012);

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.