The Sudans in Rio 2016

Read the original article on 500 Words Magazine

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Sudan competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August 2016. This was the country’s eleventh appearance at the Olympics. The Rio Olympics saw a Sudanese team of six athletes competing in swimming, athletics, and judo.

The South Sudan flag was presented at the Rio Olympics for the first time in the history of the games. Recognised by the International Olympic Committee after becoming a country in 2011, South Sudan’s team consisted of three runners competing in their first Olympics.

Although no medals were won, competing at the Olympics is considered to be an achievement in and of itself.

Sudan at the Rio Olympics 2016

Representing Sudan at the Rio Olympics were Amina Bakhit in Athletics, Ahmed Ali in Athletics, Iszlam Monier Suliman in judo – men’s 90 kg, Abdalla Yousif in Athletics, Haneen Ibrahim in swimming – women’s 50m freestyle, and Abdelaziz Mohamed Ahmed in swimming – men’s 50m freestyle.

Amina Bakhit, 25, is a Sudanese middle-distance runner. She competed in the Athletics category in the women’s 800m track & field race at the Rio Olympics. She completed the race in 2:07.65, leaving her at the rank of 56. The Rio Olympics wasn’t Amnia’s first Olympics; she competed in the women’s 800m at the 2012 games. According to online sources, in June 2009, Bakhit tested positive for norandrosterone at a competition in Sollentuna, Sweden and as a result, was handed a two-year ban from sports. The ban ended 16 July 2011, which allowed her to compete in the 2012 Olympics.

Haneen Ibrahim, 16, is a Sudanese freestyle swimmer born in 2000. She competed in the Women’s 50m freestyle race. She completed the race in 36.23 seconds, ranking at 84. Haneen is a member of the Nile Swimmers in Sudan, which is a Sudanese NGO with over 300 volunteer directors and instructors working to deliver water safety messages to children. Haneen is also an Aquatic Survival Instructor and qualified lifeguard. Although she did not advance to the semifinals, she holds the national record in the Women’s 50m freestyle race.

Abdelaziz Alfatih, 21, is a Sudanese freestyle swimmer. He competed in the swimming category in the men’s 50m freestyle race where he ranked 81st with a time of 27.71 seconds. He did not advance to the semifinals. Abdelaziz is also a member of Nile Swimmers as well as an Aquatic Survival Instructor and qualified lifeguard.

Abdalla Yousif, 19, also known as Abdalla Targan, is track & field athlete. He competed in the Athletics category in the Men’s 3000m steeplechase event. Abdalla did not advance to the semi-finals. He was the flag bearer of Sudan, leading his team during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games on 5 August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ahmed Ali, 22, is a Sudanese athlete who participated in the Athletics category in the men’s 200m race, ranking 58th with a time of 20.78 seconds. He did not advance to the semifinals.

Iszlam Monier Suliman, 25, is a Hungarian Sudanese judoka. He competed in the judo – men’s 90 kg event but did not advance to the semifinals, after being defeated in the first round.

South Sudan in Rio Olympics 2016

South Sudan joins the Olympics for the first time with a team of three runners: Margret Hassan, Santino Kenyi and Guor Marial.

Margret Hassan, 19, is a South Sudanese runner who competed in the women’s 200m marathon. She finished last in her heat, where she ranked 71st with a time of 26.99 seconds.

Santino Kenyi, 16, is a South Sudanese runner. He competed in the Athletics category in the men’s 1500m race. His performance time is 3:45.27 but he was eliminated in the preliminary round for unclear reasons.

Guor Marial, 32, is a South Sudanese runner. He competed in the Athletics category in the men’s marathon. He reached the final in the men’s marathon completing the marathon in 2:22:45, where he ranked 82nd. Guor previously competed in the 2012 Olympics in London but under the flag of Sudan – this was prior to South Sudan’s secession. Guor finished 47th in the marathon, with a time of 2:19:32.

Refugee Team

The Rio Olympics welcomed the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team, which consisted of ten athletes competing in three sports. Five of the ten athletes represented South Sudan, making their track and field debut in Rio.

Rose Nathike Lokonyen, 21, is a South Sudanese track and field athlete born in South Sudan but now living and training in Kenya. She was selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete for the Refugee Olympic Team in the women’s 800m. Lokonyen completed the race with a rank of #61 and a time of 2:16.64. She was the team’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony.

James Nyang Chiengjiek, 24, is a South-Sudanese track and field athlete born in South Sudan, but now living and training in Kenya. He was selected by the IOC to compete for the Refugee Olympic Team in the men’s 400m race at the Rio Olympics. Chiengjiek finished last in his 400m heat at 52.89 seconds.

Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, 23, is a South Sudanese track and field athlete born in South Sudan, but now living and training in Kenya. She was selected by the IOC to compete for the Refugee Olympic Team in the women’s 1500m at the Rio Olympics. Lohalith competed in the women’s 1500m heats, finishing 14th with a time of 4:47.38.

Yiech Biel, 21, is a South Sudanese track and field athlete born in South Sudan, now living and training in Kenya. He was selected by the IOC to compete for the Refugee Olympic Team in the men’s 800m at the Rio Olympics. Pur Biel finished 8th in his men’s 800m heat in a time of 1:54.67.

Paulo Amotun Lokoro, 24, is a South Sudanese track and field athlete born in South Sudan, but now living in Kenya. He was selected by the IOT to compete in the men’s 1500 metres event in Rio, where he ranked 39th with a time of 4:03.96.

These Sudanese and South Sudanese athletes were not the first to participate in the Olympics. There were others before them. Runner Ismail Ahmed Ismail is the only Sudanese to earn a medal in the eleven games in which Sudan has participated since the country’s debut at the Rome Olympics in 1960. Ismail won the silver medal in the 800m at the Beijing Olympics 2008, making him the first Sudanese national to win an Olympic medal in history. At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Ismail reached the finals; he also won the gold medal at the 2003 Afro-Asian Games.

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One thought on “The Sudans in Rio 2016

  1. Dear Ola
    as usual, nice post and contained a useful info regarding our athletes whom participated in the Rio Olympics.. to be frank,
    i stopped following our sports news, because of our shy results and you know the reasons..
    this is my first time to know these athletes,Thanks alot for the valuable information
    accept my sincere prayers for success

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