Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

The Gambia at the 2016 Summer Olympics

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Covid-19
IOC code  GAM
Competitors  4 in 3 sports
Website  www.gnoc.gm
Flag bearer  Gina Bass
The Gambia at the 2016 Summer Olympics
NOC  Gambia National Olympic Committee
Medals  Gold Silver Bronze Total 0 0 0 0

The Gambia competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which was held from 5 to 21 August 2016. The country's participation at Rio marked its ninth appearance at the Summer Olympic Games since its début at the 1984 Summer Olympics. The delegation included two track and field athletes, Adama Jammeh and Gina Bass, who both qualified after meeting the qualification standards for their respective events, one judoka, Faye Njie, who made the Games through a quota place and one swimmer, Pap Jonga, who earned a universality place to enter the Games. The Gambia made their début appearances in the judo and swimming events. Bass was selected as the flag bearer for the opening and closing ceremonies. All four athletes were eliminated from the first rounds of their events.

Contents

Background

The Gambia participated in nine Summer Olympic Games between its début at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, United States and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The highest number of athletes sent by Gambia to a Summer Games is ten to the 1984 Summer Olympics. No Gambian athlete has ever won a medal at the Olympics. The Gambia participated in the Rio Olympic Games from 5 to 21 August 2016. The Gambia National Olympic Committee (NOC) selected two track and field athletes through qualification standards. The NOC was permitted to enter up to three qualified athletes in each individual event as long as each athlete met the "A" standard, or one athlete per event if they met the "B" standard.

The four athletes that were chosen to compete in the Rio Games were Adama Jammeh in the men's 200 metres, Gina Bass in the women's 200 metres, Faye Njie in the men's lightweight judo competition and Pap Jonga in the men's 50 metre freestyle swimming contest. Three of the team's competitors trained at the Centro di Preparazione Olimpica di Formia after The Gambia's NOC secured funding for overseas training. Along with the four athletes, the country's delegation consisted of the NOC development officer and team leader Alhagie Dodou Capi Joo, athletics coach Mariama Sallah Saine, and swimming coach Arfang Y. Jobe. Bass was selected as the flag bearer for both the opening and closing ceremonies.

Athletics (track and field)

Adama Jammeh was the oldest competitor to represent The Gambia at the Olympic Games at age 23. He had not participated in any previous Summer Games. Janneh qualified for the Games because his fastest time of 20.45 seconds, set at the 2016 African Championships in Athletics Men's 200 metres, was 0.05 seconds faster than the required qualifying standard for his event, the men's 200 metres. In an interview with The Point before the Games he said, "I've competed at the World Athletics Championship in Beijing, China, and two African Championships and the Olympic Games will complete the set. I'm going to be so happy about it." Jammeh was drawn in the seventh heat on 16 August, finishing fifth out of eight athletes, with a time of 20.55 seconds. He ranked ahead of Bermuda's Harold Houston (20.85 seconds) but behind Davide Manenti of Italy (20.51 seconds) in a heat led by Nery Brenes from Costa Rica (20.20 seconds). Overall he finished 39th out of 75 participants overall, and did not progress to the semi-finals because he was 0.26 seconds slower than the slowest athlete who made the event's later stages.

At the age of 21, Gina Bass was the only Gambian female competing in athletics and was making her début appearance in the quadrennial event. She secured qualification to the Games because her time of 23.14 seconds, recorded at the Edmar Stade Lama in Remire-Montjoly in June 2016, exceeded the qualifying standard for her event, the women's 200 metres. Bass was the first Gambian athlete to secure qualification for the Rio Olympics and the second in her country's history to achieve the feat. Before the Games she said that she was "excited and focused for the road ahead" and did not think that she would take part in the Olympics while growing up. Bass participated in the event's fifth heat on 15 August, finishing fifth out of eight runners, with a time of 23.43 seconds. She ranked ahead of Srabani Nanda of India (23.58 seconds) and Mauritius's Aurelie Alcindor (24.55 seconds) but behind Tessa van Schagen from the Netherlands (23.41 seconds) in a heat led by Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria (22.71 seconds). Overall she finished 52nd out of 72 athletes and was unable to advance to the semi-finals after being 0.66 seconds slower than the slowest participant in her heat who progressed to the next round. After the Games Bass stated the lack of running she had before the event was partially responsible for her finishing position.

Key
  • Note–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only
  • Track & road events

    Judo

    Faye Njie represented The Gambia in men's judo. He gained qualification into the men's lightweight category (73 kg) by earning a continental quota place from the African region at the Rio Games during the 2016 African Judo Championships, signifying the country's first Olympic appearance in the sport. Before his event Njie said that he was proud to represent his country and commented his opponent was "good" but not undefeatable. He was narrowly defeated by his opponent Kazakhstan's Didar Khamza in a five-minute closely contested match on technical point.

    Swimming

    Pap Jonga was the youngest athlete to represent The Gambia at the Rio Games at age 19. He had not participated in any previous Olympic Games. Jonga qualified for the Games by earning a universality place from swimming's governing body FINA because his fastest time of 27.24 seconds was 4.19 seconds slower than the required qualifying standard for his event, the men's 50 metre freestyle. He became the first Gambian swimmer to qualify for an Olympic event. He was drawn in the third heat on 11 August, finishing eighth (and last) of all competitors, with a time of 27.48 seconds. Jonga ranked behind Jules Bessan of Benin (27.32 seconds) and Guinea's Amadou Camara (27.35 seconds). Overall he finished 79th out of 85 swimmers overall, and did not progress to the semi-finals after he was 6.38 seconds slower than the slowest competitor who advanced to the later stages.

    References

    The Gambia at the 2016 Summer Olympics Wikipedia


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