Monday, August 13, 2012

..And all good things come to an end as Africa shines at London 2012 Closing Ceremony

Thus ends two weeks of victory and defeat; tears and laughter; pleasure and pain. The London 2012 Olympics came to end yesterday night with a total music mania fiesta, and fashion, featuring the best of British contemporary music, and a performance from popular British all-girl group, Spice Girls. After a very long time, it was really great to see them together again. Super models, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss strut their stuff on the Isles of the Union Jack.

The Olympic Stadium witnessed a total transformation from a track and field venue to a sphere of pure entertainment, as athletes entertained and were entertained. There was happiness and joy in the air, with or without medals. For those who didn't win medals, the single chance to have been able to participate in the Olympics was an achievement in itself. Some improved on their personal bests, some their seasonal bests, but one thing was certain - everyone was glad to be going home.

Africa had her moment of pride, as the Ugandan national anthem was played at the closing ceremony. Three Africans,  gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, silver medalist Abel Kirui of Kenya, and bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich of Kenya stood tall and proud on the podium to receive their medals. As is the Olympic tradition, the Victory ceremony of the Men's Marathon, takes place at the closing ceremony.

Some of Africa's proud moments

Africa had an historic day as  Alaaeldin Abouuelkasseem of Egypt won the silver medal in the Men's Individual Foil and Africa's first medal ever in the Fencing Tournament.

For countries like Gabon, the 2012 Olympic Games would always serve as a landmark achievement as they won their first ever Olympic medal. Anthony Obame won the silver medal in the Men's +80kg category of the Taekwondo Tournament.

The total medal count for Africa was 34 with10 gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze. Kenya has the highest number of medals with 11, followed by Ethiopia 7, and South Africa 6. Tunisia had three medals,  Egypt had 2, while Morocco, Uganda, Algeria, and Botswana had one each.

So it's on to Rio for 2016.

Let the preparations begin!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

31 Medals and maybe 2 more?

 It was a great night for Gabon, as the country got her first ever Olympic medal through Anthony Obame in the Men's +80kg category of the Taekwondo tournament.

Twice world champion, Dada Modibo Keita lost out for a bronze medal due to an injury that didn't allow him compete in the bronze medal match.

As the London 2012 Olympic Games come to an end today, Africa's last chances to increase her medal count lie in the Men's Marathon and the Women's Modern Pentathlon where Aya Medany of Egypt is Africa's only representative.

Sadly the Africa Village which was closed a few days ago, was never reopened.

At present, Africa has a total of 31medals comprising: 9 Gold medals, 11 Silver and 11 Bronze, a drop from our medal count at Beijing, which was 40.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Africa claims top positions in the Men's 800m and Women's 5000m.

David Rudisha of Kenya and his new world record
Now whoever said 13 was an unlucky number? The thirteenth day of the Olympics saw Africa claiming all three medals in the Men’s 800m. As was anticipated, the gold went to David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya, who also set a new world record; the silver to Nijel Amos of Botswana and the bronze, Timothy Kitum, also of Kenya.

Africa also got a bronze medal in the Women’s Kayak Single (K1) 500m from South Africa’s Bridgitte Hartley.

In the Men’s 68kg event of the Taekwondo Tournament, David Boui of the Central African Republic put a really good fight to get to the Repechage contest, but lost to Nikpah Rohullah of Afghanistan.
Annabel Laure Ali of Senegal also lost out in the Repechage 2nd Round of the Women’s 72kg Freestyle of the Wrestling Tournament.

Unfortunately the Africa Village still remains closed and with only one day left to the end of the Olympics, it is really a sad way to end such a great initiative. Visitors were seen turning back after they met the gates locked.

Day 14 saw another All-Africa line up, as the top 6 positions in the Women’s 5000m went to Ethiopia and Kenya, with Meseret Defar taking the gold, Vivian Jekpemoi Cheruiyot taking the silver and fellow Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba taking the bronze.

In the Women’s Taekwondo 67kg category, Ruth Gbagbi made it to the Repechage contest before losing to Helena Fromm of Germany.

Also in the Men’s 55kg Freestyle Wrestling Tournament, Ibrahim Farag Abdelhakim Mohamed also made it to Round 1 of the Repechage contest before losing to Radosiav Marinov Velikov of Bulgaria.