Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

30 July 2012

Cameroon: 'I am on Mission in London'

interview

Ali Annabel, Cameroon's flag bearer and wrestler at the 2012 London Olympics talks to Cameroon Tribune on her preparations.

How did you feel when you entered the stadium carrying Cameroon's flag?

Well, it was very emotional. You know, it is not easy to be a flag bearer of a country. It is an immense responsibility because all eyes are on you. Though I was in Beijing four years ago, the situation is different in London 2012. Here, I am like the captain of a football team. I need to talk to my team mates, officials and work extra-hard in order not to let my country down. Above all it is a moment of satisfaction and honour for every sports man or woman.

Why have you decided to go back to Paris?

I have been here for a couple of days. But I have realised the Olympic village is too noisy for anyone who wants to concentrate. I am not in London for tourism. I am on mission, I need to concentrate and be focused. You know the Olympic Games is a high level competition. There are three categories of athletes; those who are in London for sightseeing, those who just want to participate and those who have come to dig gold. I have come for gold, I need to retreat and fine-tune my strategy.

Are you not afraid of fatigue?

You know our competition is only on one day. I am competing on the 9th of August. I am leaving for France but I will be back three days before the day of competition, ready to wrestle. For now everything is ok, except for the light hamstring injury which will be taken care of before the D-day.

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