African athletes are proud to come and represent their countries at the Rio Olympics and all of them really have a lot of potential to back home with a medal.
Starting this weekend, we will have the pleasure to see some of the biggest international athletes compete during the Summer Olympics who take place from Aug 6 until Aug 15 in Rio, Brazil. Here are 15 African athletes that you might hear of during the competition.
Nijel Amos (Bostwana) – Athletics
This 800 meters specialist gave Botswana its fort medal back in 2012.
Natália Bernardo (Angola) – Handball
The handball player participated at the Olympics in 2008 and 2012. Her and the team came in 10th place. This summer, she hopes she will take them to the top.
Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (Cameroon) – Boxing
The boxer known for his passion for poker and his flashy way of life, has a good reason to be at the Olympics. The 32-year-old want to add an Olympic title to his career and it’s almost now or never.
Anthony Obame (Gabon) – Taekwondo
The only Gabonese medal-holder is ready to honor his country. Former World champion in the heavyweight he does not come to play.
Caster Semenya (South Africa) – Athletics
The runner stirred up controversy in 2009 when a test revealed that she was genetically a man ! Endowed with feminine attributs, she is still allowed to run in the female category. This year, she will have to face critics and especially her opponent Paula Radcliffe who was publicly opposed to her participation in the Olympics.
Areneo David (Malawi) – Archery
The right-handed player will represent his country in a sport that is often forgotten.
Murielle Ahouré (Ivory Coast) – Athletics
The sprinter has the honour to be the flag bearer for Ivory Coast during the opening ceremony. The country has only earned one Olympic medal so Murielle has some pressure.
John Obi Mikel (Nigeria) – Soccer / Football
Chelsea’s middle field is experienced. He will certainely help his team to win their first game against Sweden on Aug 8 !
Franck Elemba (Congo) – Shot put
The Congolese He-man came in second place during the African Championships in Durban. This year, he will try to improve his international rank.
Tirunesh Dibaba & Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) – Athletics
These two sisters are dreaded in their discipline ! Genzebe is the reigning 2014 World Indoor Champion and World Indoor Record Holder in the 3000 m while Tirunesh is the current World and Olympic 10,000 metres champion.
Faye Njie (Gambia) – Judo
Silver medal holder at the 2015 African Games of Brazzaville, the Finnish athlete will represent his country of origin in Rio.
Sean Safo-Antwi (Ghana) – Athletics
The Ghanaian sprinter should have represented his country during the World Indoor Championship but was disqualified at the last minute. This year, he is willing to take his revenge !
Christian Nassif (Central Africa) – Swimming
The freestyle specialist is back ! He hasn’t scored any big performances for the past few years, so he is putting his career on the line during these Olympics !
Asbel Kiprop (Kenya) – Athletics
Three-time world champion in 1500m, the Kenyan runner will have to show his rivals who is the boss !
Emmanuel Matadi (Liberia)
This 25-year-old sprinter nearly didn’t make it to the Olympics, so he has to prove to his teammates what he is capable of.
Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwanda) – Road Cycling
In 2013, he created the Adrien Niyonshuti Cycling Academy to develop the sport in Rwanda. Two new centers have been created in 2015. We can tell that he would make good use of the money he’ll make if he gets a medal.