African Olympic Athletes Look to Tokyo Olympics

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With the COVID-19 pandemic raging in 2020, the Tokyo Summer Olympics, much like everything else, was delayed. The postponement cost the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over $3 billion.  And, despite the pandemic still raging early into 2021, the IOC remains adamant that they will host the “2020” Summer Olympics this year. Plenty of changes are in tow, but here are some of the most prominent African athletes from recent Olympics that might just win again. 

Wayde Van Niekerk- South Africa

Niekerk is a track and field sprinter and gold medalist from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He won the 400 meter sprint and holds the world and Olympic record in the 400 meter. He also competes in the 200 meter. Niekerk holds records in the 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m sprints, cementing his status as one of the world’s best sprinters. 

Faith Kipyegon- Kenya

Kipyegon won gold in 2016 in the women’s 1500 meter. She also won gold and silver in the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, respectively. She won a gold medal with her team in the World Cross Country Championships in 2010 when she was just 16-years-old. She is a two-time Olympian. 

Inès Boubakri- Tunisia

Boubakri is a Tunisian born foil fencer. She won bronze in just her second Olympic appearance in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. Her bronze is the first medal won by a Tunisian woman at the Olympics. She will be a three-time Olympian. 

Nigeria Olympic Football Team

The Nigerian Men’s Football (fútbol) team took home the bronze medal in 2016. They lost to Germany in the semifinals before defeating Honduras for the bronze medal. They were led by a remarkable 16 players under the age of 23, so look for them to have repeated success this year.

Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling- South Africa

Brittain and Keeling, South African rowers, were partners in the 2016 Olympics where they took home the silver medal in Men’s coxless pair rowing. Brittain defeated cancer just a year prior to medaling.  

Sara Ahmed- Egypt

Ahmed is an Egyptian Olympic weightlifter. In 2016, she took home the bronze medal in the women’s 69 kilogram. She won gold medals at the Mediterranean and African Games, and the Arab Championships. In 2016, she became the first Arab woman to receive an Olympic weightlifting medal and the first Egyptian woman to receive an Olympic medal at all.

Marwa Amri- Tunisia

Amri is a Tunisian born wrestler who competed in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. She took home the bronze in the women’s freestyle in 2016. She is the first African woman to earn a medal in wrestling. Amri has been wrestling since the age of 11, shortly after her father passed away. 

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