A contingent of local based national athletes was treated to a special welcome ceremony upon their return from the African championships on Wednesday. Their team mates Gina Bass, Adama Jammeh among others travelled straight to France from Mauritius to continue their preparations for the world championship.
At the airport to receive the athletes who won gold and a bronze medal was Gambia Athletics Association president Dodou Joof, National Sports Council and GNOC officials.
Mr Joof told The Standard that the performance of the team gave him mixed feelings because he was expecting 4 medals. ”But Gina withdrew from the 200meters and Adama Jammeh has some problems in the relay. But overall they have done the country a great service and proved us right in our direction to develop Gambian athletes, given the limited time we had to prepare the team. It is the first time that some of these athletes are competing at top level events. I am expecting more medals in the Islamic Games too among others,” Mr Joof said.
Arthur Jackson, the GAA secretary general who accompanied the team said the athletes have done very well especially the relay team which has not represented the country for some time now. ”I can assure you that the future is bright for Gambian athletics,” he said. Marcel Mendy the executive director of the Gambia National Sport Council (NSC) who witnessed the championship, said the government will continue to support the development of athletics and praised the athletes some of whom are very new for making the country proud. Musa Sanneh, a coach said the team’s performance will inspire hope and encouragement.
Members of the men and women relay teams Fatou Sowe and Edrissa Marong among others told The Standard that they feel excited to have represented the Gambia and vowed to work harder. The team was greeted by a troop of drummers and dancers clad in Gambian national flag colours and driven home in a special convoy led by a Gambia police escort.