The Alkamba Times Sports End of Year in Review

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By: Baboucarr Fallaboweh 

It’s an excellent year for the sporting fraternity from Limbe to Konya, to Birmingham to Santa Cruz; the Gambia had an incredible 2022 to remember in terms of sports and its glory.

 Football 

Only the U23 and the CHAN team failed to book a ticket to next year’s competitions. The U15 and U20 are set for Egypt and Algeria in 2023. The Gambia started 2022 with an incredible performance, reaching the quarterfinals of the African cup of nations and only losing two matches in the 11 played. 

The Gambia National U-20 Team

The U15 girl’s also clinched the top spot, while the U15 boys earned the runners-up medal in Cape Verde. The Young Scorpions, who finished 3rd in the last U20 competition, will make their 4th appearance when the tournament starts in Egypt.

Individual accolades saw Assan Ceesay winning Zuerich FC player of the year and Gambia’s fans’ foreign-based player after helping Zuerich to its first title in 13 years.

Dembo Darboe and Lamin Jarju make record signing moves, with the latter being named Senegalese Ligue1 player of the year. Sulayman Marreh and Modou Barrow all won league cup titles. 

 Beach Volleyball 

Mbaye Babou Jarra and Sainey Jawo will go down in the history of The Gambia as the first-ever players to participate in the highest beach volleyball competition as they make it to the global championships. The duo reached double quarterfinals and were the highest-ranked African team in 2022. The pair played in the FIVB world beach volleyball championship in Rome, Dubai, and Oman, where they finished fifth in the latter likewise in the Commonwealth games. 

Jawo and Jarra with Team Italy at FIVB Beach Volley Competition in Rome, Italy

 Athletics 

Two Gold for Gina Bass in 2022. She was ranked 302nd in the world of women’s sprinters. This was made possible because of the incredible year she had. World Athletics Championship in Oregon in June, she finished 3rd in the women’s 100m race in Switzerland.

Gina Bass

Gina Bass won the women’s 100m contest at the African Championships in Mauritius; the 27-year-old defended her title when she won the gold medal in the Islamic Solidarity Games in Turkey with a time of 20:63 in the women’s 200-meter race.

The current holder of national records in the 100 and 200 meters finished fifth in the women’s 200m final race in the Commonwealth games. 

Faye Njie won a silver medal for the Gambia at the Commonwealth Games in his domain of Judo.

Judoka Faye Njie

One question remains, and Morrocco must be drawn as an example.

Morrocco’s significant investment worth $70 million is called the Mohammed VI Football Complex. Morocco has one of the most successful sporting projects on the African continent called Académie Mohammed VI., which has seen 32 graduates play in Europe, including five senior internationals for Morocco, among which are Youssef En-Nesyri and Ounahi. They focused on 3 critical area facilities, Talent, and qualified personnel.

When you compare Morrocco to other African countries, there is a considerable gap, leading to many African countries having training camps in Morrocco. In addition, they hosted the AWCON and Women’s CAF Champions league, and they will host the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup.

An Olympic-winning player or a coach will be owed for 10 years without receiving their bonuses, or a team training camp will be halted because of a lack of money.

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