Thursday, July 26, 2012

Caught The Olympic Bug Yet?

It may be summer, but at PANA Television, we’ve reached a fever pitch as we feel the Olympic frenzy with just one day to go.

The Olympic Football Tournament kicked off yesterday with our women getting beat up by Brazil and Sweden, but not to sweat it, they still have three more matches left.

On the men’s side, Morocco are feeling on the top of the world right now, with their 2:2 draw against Honduras in the first round of Group D. Here’s hoping Egypt, Senegal, and Gabon can match or exceed Morocco’s performance.

This year, Africa will be looking to top her medal count from Beijing 2008. At Beijing there were a total of 857 athletes that represented the continent. The total medal count was 40 with 12 gold, 14 silver and 14 bronze.

This time out, a contingent of 940 athletes are in London right now with South Africa topping the list with 133 athletes – hope they fare much better than Beijing 2008 where they came back with only one medal in spite of having the largest contingent. Tunisia and Egypt have the second largest with 90 athletes each.

We’ve got some newcomers to the Olympics like Senegal and Gabon who are first timers to football, Eritrea is sending her first cyclist, Daniel Teklehaymanot to the Olympics to compete. We’ve also got ourselves a blade runner from South Africa  - athlete Oscar Pistorius, who has stirred quite a lot of controversy being the first and only double amputee to compete in the Olympic Games, with some critics thinking that he has an unfair advantage over able-bodied athletes.
Oscar Pistorius the 'blade runner'

While we say welcome to the debutantes, we will miss some faces this year. Haile Gebrselassie, two-time Olympic champion from Ethiopia did not qualify; and for the first time in 24 years, we will not have the Maputo Expres, Maria Mutola, running the 800m. Namibian star athlete, Frankie Fredericks will also not be making an appearance.

Hey, but the young shall grow right? So we look towards the young ones to take off where they left off.

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