By: Baboucarr Fallaboweh
The Queen of the track is still hoping to get her wishes to train in the US, lamenting the lack of support to achieve her ambition.
“Reflecting on 2022, the beginning of the year wasn’t easy, but I am glad I capped it off brilliantly. Of course, we always hinder by late preparation, but I am hoping for a better 2023,’ the champion told a sports journalist Hagie Drammeh in a rare interview.
The athlete sensation Gina Bass won a gold medal at the Islamic Games in Turkey.
The 28-year-old sprinter clocked an impressive timing of 22:63 seconds and made history for her country in the Women’s 200 meters race.
She is the most accomplished runner from the Gambia to win a gold medal in two separate athletics championships.
In 2017, Ms. Bass, 22, became the first Gambian sprinter to claim a gold medal at the world international Athletics Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.
“Looking back, I wanted to be in the finals of the world championship and the finals of the Commonwealth games, so when I reached Konya, I believed I could do more than what I did in Birmingham because mentally, I was stressed about not arriving on time and the climatization.”
“I am happy to be a mentor to lots of upcoming athletes because we have lots of talents in the Gambia, but support is what we lack, and without that support, we won’t see many on the world stage.”
Bass further revealed one of her top targets this year: to qualify for the Olympic games next year.
“I have a US visa, but my budget is insufficient, and I have sent my proposal to the authorities. I have communicated with the authorities, who told me December/January. Sometimes it disturbs me when support is upheld. My dream is to train in the US. Senegal is the second plan; the coach knows me, but training in the US is far better because I will know my strength and train with world champions.”
That gold medal success in Azerbaijan brought Ms. Bass’s total number of medals to two (gold & silver), the highest number of individual awards registered by a Gambian athlete at any international championships.
She was a bronze medalist in the 200 meters race, which she achieved in Durban in 2016.
Last year Gina participated in the World athletics championships in the United States and was the current national record holder of the women’s 100 & 200-meter events.
“My dream is to beat my record and qualify for Paris 2024. Furthermore, I want to reach the finals of the African games & World games,” she said.
With many international athletics accolades, including two gold medal honors, Ms. Bass will undoubtedly go down in history as Gambia’s most decorated sprinter.