Monday, April 22, 2024

Alasan Ann Becomes First Gambian Taekwondo Athlete to Qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics

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By Philip Mendy, Secretary-General

In a historic achievement for Gambian sports, Alasan Ann has etched his name in the annals of Taekwondo history by becoming the first Gambian athlete to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Alongside him, Maria Sainabou Marchlinski has also made history as the first female Gambian Taekwondo athlete to participate in the African Qualification Tournament for Paris 2024.

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The momentous qualification was secured after a gruelling competition held on February 11, 2024, in Dakar. Alasan’s journey to Olympic qualification began at the African Qualification Tournament, where he showcased his exceptional skills and determination to earn his rightful place in the prestigious event. His success is a testament to his unwavering commitment and relentless pursuit of excellence in the field of Taekwondo.

To earn his spot in the Olympic Games, Alasan faced formidable opponents from across the continent. In a display of sheer prowess, he triumphed over challengers such as Hongbe Frederic of Chad and the 3rd-ranked athlete, Obame Anthony of Gabon, in the Male +80 category. These victories solidified his qualification and marked a historic moment for Gambian Taekwondo.

Meanwhile, Maria Sainabou Marchlinski, at just 17 years old, showcased her exceptional talent and bravery by participating in the African Qualification Tournament. Despite her young age, Maria exhibited remarkable skills, defeating opponents like Sierraleone Noble Trinity Aria before facing a valiant battle against Toumi Chaima of Tunisia in the quarterfinals.

Alasan and Maria’s achievements highlight the immense potential and talent present in Gambia’s Taekwondo community. Alasan’s historic qualifications for the Paris 2024 Olympics serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes across the nation, demonstrating that with dedication and perseverance, anything is possible.

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As Gambia’s representatives on the global stage, Alasan Ann and Maria Sainabou Marchlinski are poised to make their mark and showcase their skills against the world’s best in the upcoming African and World Competitions. Their journey is a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and determination to achieve greatness in sports.

The entire nation eagerly anticipates his participation in the Paris 2024 Olympics, where they will undoubtedly make Gambia proud and leave a lasting legacy in the world of Taekwondo.

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