400 M FREESTYLE: TUNISIAN BORN AHMED HAFNAOUI ALL IN GOLD

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Tunisian born Ahmed
Hafnaoui stunned the
entire world on 25 July
2021 by becoming,
at barely 18, 400m freestyle
Olympic champion. Right from
the first day of the finals in the
Tokyo Olympic pool, Ahmed
Hafnaoui strongly impressed
onlookers, thus keeping alive
the many hopes placed on
him. Eighth semi finals best
time scorer and lined on the
outer lane (N.8), Hafnaoui won
the 400 m freestyle contest
in 3 minutes, 43 seconds and
36, beating Australian born
Jack McLoughlin (3:43.52) and
American Kieran Smith (3:43.94)
at the very last moment. It was
an honour to the entire African
continent which was winning
its very first Gold medal at the
Tokyo Games. He also became
the second Olympic champion
swimmer in his country’s history,
after Oussama Mellouli was
crowned in the 1,500m category
400 M FREESTYLE: TUNISIAN BORN
AHMED HAFNAOUI ALL IN GOLD
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GAMES
TATJANA SCHOENMAKER
DISTINGUISHES HERSELF IN THE
100M BREASTSTROKE CATEGORY
during the 2008 Games in
Peking.
Very satisfied with this
outstanding victory, the
Olympic gold medalist had this
to say: « I am very proud, very
happy; I thought about my
parents. I came here to win a
medal in the 400 m and 800
m categories. Just a medal,
any one. I did not imagine that
I could win gold, especially
as I was in lane 8. During the
second phase of the race, I felt
better and it was a nice battle
at the end. It’s really incredible,
I didn’t expect that and I am
so happy. ». « I believed when
I touched the wall and noticed
that I was the first. Terrific!
And when I saw my country’s
flag and heard the (Tunisian)
anthem, my eyes were filled
with tears, I felt so proud. I
am dedicating this title to the
entire Tunisian people: you
now have a champion! I am so
glad to have won a gold medal,
be proud of me and that’s it »
Ahmed Hafnaoui added.
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GAMES
On 27 July 2021, SouthAfrican swimmer Tatjana
Schoenmaker won a silver
medal in the 100m breaststroke
contest. The athlete topped the
race for long; but in the last 25
metres, 17 year old Lydia Jacob from
America made an unexpected
catch up to snatch the gold medal
(1’04’’95). Tatjana Schoenmaker
ended second (1’05’’22) before
another American, Lilly King, twotimes World champion and former
Olympic champion.
Young South African
swimmer Tatjana
Schoenmaker, who is
part of ANOCA’s athletes
support programme, won the
200m breaststroke gold medal
on 30 July 2021 in Tokyo, at the
same time breaking the World
record (2 minutes, 18 seconds
and 95 hundredths). Tatjana
TATJANA FROM SOUTH AFRICA
ALL IN GOLD IN THE 200M
BREASTSTROKE CATEGORY
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
Schoenmaker who had earlier
won a silver medal in the 100m
breaststroke contest impressed
onlooker by winning the final
sprint ahead of all her challengers
of the day, including Lilly King
(2:19.92) and Annie Lazor (2:20.84)
from the USA. Aged de 24, the
South African athletes said she
was very happy to win this gold
medal in a so highly contested
event.
South African surfer Bianca
Buitendag won a silver
medal in the women’s
surf category at the
Olympic Games on the 27th of July
on a fantastic day for the South
African team present at Tokyo,
the same day her countrywoman
Tatjana Schoenmaker bagged
the same distinction in the 100m
breaststroke category.
Surf finals were put forward for
a day due to worries about an
oncoming storm, and Buitendag
had previously remained very
A SILVER MEDAL FOR SOUTH
AFRICAN SURFER BIANCA
BUITENDAG
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
fit when she came ahead of
Yolanda Hopkins from Portugal
and Caroline Marks from America
at the quarter finals and semifinals respectively. During the
final sprint for the gold medal, the
South African was overwhelmed
by Carissa Moore from the USA.
She expressed her joy when
she said that for her, it was an
exceptional day because, winning
a medal in the Olympic is the ideal
achievement for any high-level
athlete.
I
vorian born Ruth Gbagbi
who is a taekwondo fighter,
already bronze medal winner
at the 2016 Rio Olympic
Games, made it again last 26
July in Tokyo by winning the same
medal following her victory over
Milena Titoneli in the semi-finals.
She qualified for the semi-finals
after Naomie Katoka from Congo
…THERE COMES AGAIN RUTH
GBAGBI AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
was disqualified for being absent
from the weigh-in, then a win over
Mengyu Zhang from China in the
next round before loosing in the
semi-finals behind Lauren Willians
from Great Britain. Ruth Gbagbi
became World champion in 2017
in South Korea.
It should be mentioned that
taekwondo came back as a medal
sport in Sydney 2000. Involving
about 80 million people in more
than 200 countries and territories,
taekwondo is a popular discipline
in Côte d’Ivoire. Five times winner
in the African championships,
Ruth Gbagbi won the gold medal
at the 2015 Brazzaville All Africa
Games.
Four years after her victory
in the 400m freestyle in 3’
43” 36, Ayoub Hafnaoui
handed the jersey he was
wearing during the finals to the
Olympic Museum. This was in
GOLD MEDAL WINNER AYOUB
HAFNAOUI OFFERS HIS JERSEY TO
THE OLYMPIC MUSEUM
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
a ceremony organized on 29
July in Tokyo, in the presence of
many personalities, including
the President of International
Swimming Federation (ISF)
Houssain Al Musalam from
kuweit , the Director of IOC’s
Olympic Art, Culture and
Patrimony Foundation, the
Tunisian Ambassador to Japan,
H.E Mohamed Elloumi, and the
President of the National Olympic
Committee of Tunisia, Mehrez
Boussayane.
Speaking on this occasion, Ayoub
Hafnaoui expressed his great
pride and joy to write the name
of Tunisia for the first time in the
Olympic Museum and to ably
represent the Tunisian Olympic
movement.
MEN’S 10000 M RACE: SELEMON
BAREGA FROM ETHIOPIA WINS
GOLD
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
Selemon Barega from
Ethiopia won the
10000m race gold
medal by overcoming
on the 30th of July the super
favorite from Uganda, Joshua
Cheptegei, after a highly
contested race. At the end of
the event, as his compatriots
have usually done, Selemon
Barega grabbed Ethiopian red,
yellow and green flag, greeted
his supporters made up of his
delegation’s members, before
making a lap of honour in the
great Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
Barega won the race in 27 min
43 sec 22 beating Cheptegei
(27 min 43 sec 63) and the other
Ugandan Jacob Kiplimo (27 min
43 sec 88). This is the first major
title won by this athlete who is
now aged 21 and who came
second during the 2019 World
championships in the 5,000m
category. This young athlete
thus distinguishes himself in
this category after other great
names who have won a gold
medal, such as Kenenisa Bekele
(winner in 2004 and 2008), Haile
Gebreselassie (1996 and 2000)
or even Tirunesh Dibaba in the
women’s category (2008 and
2012). « Winning here is a way
to mark history; since Abebe
Bikila won the Tokyo marathon
in 1964and I’m very proud of
that. I already experienced
victories on shorter distances,
therefore I was very confident
during the last 400-200 meters.
Nonetheless, it was a fierce
battle » said the gold medalist.
It should be noted that all three
medal winners are Africans.
1. Selemon Barega (Ethiopia)
27:43.22
2. Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda)
27:43.63
3. Jacob Kiplimo (Uganda)
27:43.88
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
The 2nd of August 2021
will be remembered as
the day when Soufiane
El-Bakkali from Morocco
imposed himself in the 3000m
steeplechase race final. In 8
minutes 08 seconds and 90, he
ended the race before Lamecha
Girma from Ethiopia who clocked
8 minutes 10 seconds and 38, and
Benjamin Kigen from Kenya with
8 minutes 11 seconds and 45. Yet,
Girma and Wale from Ethiopia led
the race, followed by Kigen and
Kibiwot from Kenya. Behind the
favourites of this race Moroccan
born Soufiane El-Bakkali kept in
touch but slightly behind so as
to save his energy for the last
lap. 500 m from the finishing
line, El-Bakkali came in between
the Ethiopians and the Kenyans
and launched a massive attack
in the last lap. The 25 years old
Moroccan is the very first nonKenyan 3000m steeplechase
Olympic champion after
Bronisław Malinowski of Poland in
Moscow in 1980. Earlier in Rio 2016,
Soufiane El-Bakkali distinguished
himself at the age of 20 where he
was ranked 4th. Since then, he
became World vice-champion
in 2017 in London, then bronze
medal winner in Doha in 2019.
SOUFIANE EL-BAKKALI GOES DOWN
IN THE ANNALS OF THE 3 000 M
STEEPLECHASE EVENT
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES TOKYO 2020
INTERVIEW WITH SOUFIANE
EL BAKKALI, 3,000 M STEEPLE
OLYMPIC CHAMPION
«TODAY, EVERYONE CAN SEE
THAT HARD WORK BEARS
FRUITS. »
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
Le Matin: Tell us how you
planned this race; and what
was the key to success during
the final laps?
Soufiane El Bakkali: Thank God.
All who know and follow Soufiane
El Bakkali know that it was a
long term work which lasted
for years. During the Rio 2016
Olympic Games edition, I came
fourth and started gaining
confidence. Then the dream of
becoming champion started
growing… Today, everyone can
see that hard work bears fruits.
The race wasn’t easy at all,
despite all that was said earlier
on the absence of the former
Olympic champion. I had to
cope with the fierce contest
opposed by Ethiopian athletes.
One of them even posed me
serious problems during the
2019 World championships. I
underwent enormous pressure
before the race and I even
had to suspend all activity on
the social media. I received
many messages from people
expressing their full confidence
in me and my fear was that I
might not be up to the task.
Thank God, I didn’t disappoint
them and I want to dedicate
this consecration to His Majesty
King Mohammed VI and the
entire people of Morocco, as
well as to all my relatives who
supported me a lot. I am now
the Olympic champion on a
very difficult distance, which
has for long been the private
matter of Kenyan athletes.
You are today Morocco’s first
Gold medal winner since the
one won by Hicham El Guerrouj
in 2004, that is 17 years after.
What is your feeling?
It is an indescribable feeling!
We are all very proud of these
champions. We all watched
their historic performances and
I tried to use this as a motivating
factor. I kept in touch with them
and they advised me to consider
this race as an ordinary contest
and not as an Olympic final,
especially with the absence of
supporters in the stands. Thank
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
God, I managed the race very
well and I was able to write
my name in the history of the
Olympic Games.
What was the contribution of
your compatriot Mohamed
Tindouft today; did he help you
during the race?
I am very happy for Mohamed
Tindouft, who has evolved step
by step, who suffered a lot in
the past, but who has became
stronger and more experienced.
He took part with me in the
race in Italy and he broke the
record. When he qualified for
the finals in Tokyo, I was very
happy because I was no longer
going to face the Ethiopians
and Kenyans alone as was the
case in 2019. This enabled me
to better manage the race with
more confidence, and I hope
the next finals will include three
Moroccan athletes.
You will have to postpone
your celebrations, since your
assignment in Tokyo is not
over yet…
Of course! I’ll try to recover a bit
tomorrow (Tuesday, Ed) before
going to collect my number for
the 1, 500 m race.
Should we expect a second
victory on this distance?
I can’t promise you anything!
(Laughter). You know ? All
great athletes will take part in
this contest and the Olympic
champion will also go through
qualifiers. The best six of each
series and the best six by the
clock will be qualified. I hope I’ll be
among them… This time around,
I’ll run without any pressure, as
opposed to the 3,000 m steeple
which is my specialty. There
will be two young Moroccan
runners besides me, Anas Essaï
and Abdellatif Seddiki. I hope
we will all qualify for the final.
Source: Le Matin
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
ANOCA PRESIDENT’S ACTIVITIES IN
TOKYO
A HISTORIC
AGREEMENT SIGNED
BETWEEN ANOCA AND
GERFLOR
ANOCA, the Association of
National Olympic Committees
of Africa and Gerflor Company
have entered into agreement
which aims at providing
floorings for the following sports
disciplines to National Olympic
Committees hosting the All
Africa Games, the Africa Beach
Games and the Youths Olympic
Games: Handball, Basketball
and Volleyball. The agreement
was signed by ANOCA President,
Mustapha Berraf, and the
Director of Gerflor Company,
in the presence of the Minister
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
of Youths and Sports of Ghana
as well as ANOCA’s Executive
Committee members.
« We are happy about this
agreement. ANOCA will continue
supporting countries hosting
international events and assures
them of its full collaboration.
This convention is only the start
of a fruitful and very successful
collaboration. ANOCA President,
Mustapha Berraf, added that
equipment acquired under this
scheme will go a long way to
strengthen measures put in
place to improve the quality of
infrastructure and equipment,
but also contribute to the birth of
talents on the African continent.
»
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
The President of ANOCA,
Mr. Mustapha Berraf, took
part on 28 August 2021, in
the Executive Committee
meeting of the Association of
National Olympic Committees
(ANOC), in his capacity as the
institution’s Vice-President. The
meeting took place in Tokyo
on the sidelines of the summer
Olympic Games. Members
discussed on several items and
adopted some measures aimed
at improving the support granted
to NOCs by this association. This
meeting was attended by IOC
President, Dr. Thomas Bach who
in his address reiterated his
support in favour of ANOC and
NOCs. He also mentioned the
holding of the Olympic Games
by pointing out that although
the event is holding within a
special health context, Japan is
offering a nice sports jamboree
to the world. ANOC Executive
ANOCA PRESIDENT ATTENDS
ANOC’S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
MEETING
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
Committee members on their
part expressed their dull support
to the IOC and to the Organizing
Committee who left no stone
unturned to ensure the staging
of successful Games.
As key items on the agenda, was
the selection process for the
hosting of the 2023 and 2025
editions of ANOC World Beach
Games to take place after Tokyo
2020. The Executive Council
was informed that some NOCs
have already expressed their
desire to apply for the hosting
of these editions. Rules for the
ANOC World Beach Games and
anti-doping rules to be tabled
before the General Assembly for
adoption were also approved.
During deliberations, the
amended Statutes of ANOC were
also adopted, which include the
possibility of organizing virtual or
partly virtual General Assembly
meetings, and the decision of
including at lest 30% women in
this body. These amendments will
also be tabled before the General
Assembly for adoption. Due to
the current health situation, and
in collaboration with the Korean
Olympic and Sports Committee
(KSOC), it was agreed that Seoul
will not host the next General
Assembly of ANOC, which will
instead hold in Athens on 24 and
25 October 2021.
On the sidelines of the
32nd Olympic Games
currently holding in
Tokyo, the President
of ANOCA has been multiplying
working meetings with actors of
the international Olympic and
sports movement and state
authorities. It is in this line that he
had a meeting with the Minister of
Sports of Ghana, Hon. Mustapha
Ussif, during which they mainly
ANOCA PRESIDENT HOLDS A
WORKING MEETING WITH GHANA’S
MINISTER OF SPORTS
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
talked about sports development
in Africa in general and in Ghana in
particular, cooperation relations
between his country and ANOCA,
and preparations for the All Africa
Games to be held in Accra in 2023.
Both authorities also exchanged
on Africa’s performances in
the Tokyo Games. It should
me mentioned that during this
meeting, ANOCA President was
accompanied by the institution’s
Secretary General, Ingr. Ahmed
Abou Elgasim Hashim.
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NEWSLETTER OF AFRICA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE 2021 OLYMPIC
GAMES
An important meeting
bringing together
IOC African Members,
including Mr.
Mustapha Berraf, President of
ANOCA took place in Tokyo on
the sidelines of the 32nd summer
Olympic Games. Participants
made an appraisal of Africa’s
preparations for these games
and the Continent’s mid-term
performances during this
competition. They also expressed
satisfaction on efforts deployed
by ANOCA to support the
continent’s athletes. The health
situation the world is facing due
to the Covid-19 pandemic was
also scrutinized. On this issue,
African IOC Members hailed the
involvement of various actors of
the African Olympic and sports
movement to fight this pandemic.
AFRICAN IOC MEMBERS MEET IN
TOKYO
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GAMES
ANOCA President, Mr.
Mustapha Berraf
visited African
athletes present
in Tokyo. During this visit, he
addressed them a message of
support from the entire African
Olympic and sport movement.
Mr. Berraf notably told athletes
that despite the Covid-19
pandemic, they were able to
qualify for the Olympic Games
and to train in good conditions.
« Be able ambassadors of the
entire African continent here in

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