Tanzania: Dar Fire Blanks At Africa Games

'TEAM Tanzania' fired blanks at the 12th edition of African Games that ended in Rabat, Morocco yesterday. The Games started in August 16th this year.

Tanzania fielded nine athletes -- three Judokas and six runners to compete in the continental multi-sport event but the team failed to win a single medal, finishing bottom of the medal table.

Last in action for Tanzania was Gabriel Geay, who finished sixth in men's 1,500 metres race staged at Prince Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex on Friday after posting 3:39.29.

Kenyan Manangoi George Meitamei won the race in a time of 3:38.27, while Souleiman Hassan Ayanleh of Djibouti was second in a time of 3:38.44. Simotwo Charles Cheboi of Kenya came third 3:38.51.

In the fourth place was Moroccan Iguider Abdellaati (3:38.59) and another Moroccan Ouladha Hicham came fifth in a time of 3:39.00.

Earlier on the same day, Tanzanian Natalia Elisante also finished out of the podium position in the 21.5 kilometres Half Marathon race, after coming seventh in a time of 1 hour, 14 minutes and 33 seconds, while Sarah Ramadhani pulled out after just 10 kilometres.

It was one two, three podium finish for Ethiopia with Densa Yalemzerf Yehualaw winning gold in a time of 1:10:26, Asires Degitu Azimeraw finished second after posting 1:10:31, while Tola Mesetey Belete was third in 1:12:08.

Kenyans Hellen Jepkurgat (1:12:29) came fourth as Grace Kimanzi (1:13:16) was fifth and in the sixth place was Zimbabwean Fortunate Chidzivo, who posted 1:13:47. Egypt finished with the highest medal count.

With several medal ceremonies still to go in sports like volleyball and tennis, Egypt has racked up 82 gold medals.

Other Tanzanian athletes, Regina Mpigachai failed to make it in 800metres race, same as Benjamin Michael and Ali Khamis Gulam, who competed in 200 and 400 metres race.

Tanzanian Judokas, who were dismissed in early stages of the event included Anangisye Kwele, Abdulrabi Alawi Abdullah and Ally Hamis Hussein.

They were under coach Innocent Malya. 'Team Tanzania' also came back home empty-handed in the previous edition of the event held in Congo Brazzaville in 2015. Egypt ended with the highest medal count after racking up 82 gold medals.

In second was Nigeria with 42 gold medals, following South Africa (35), Algeria (31), and Morocco (28). The Rabat event involved more than 6,000 athletes competing in 26 sports disciplines, 17 of which were qualifying to the Olympic Games of Tokyo 2020.

It is the first time in the history of the Africa Games that the event was used as a qualification step to the Olympic Games. In total, Tanzania has won 24 medals since the inception of the event.

The first Games were held in Brazzaville, Congo from July 18 to 25, 1965, involving 25 nations including Tanzania, which won bronze medal.

The second edition was held in 1973 in Lagos, Nigeria, when Filbert Bayi, won the first gold for the country, whereas boxer Habib Kinyogoli won silver medal.

Then, in 1978 Algiers, Algeria, the country won two medals -- one silver and a bronze. In the event held in 1987 in Nairobi, Kenya, athletes form Tanzania won seven medals -- two silver and five bronze and Tanzania most successfully campaign in the Games was in 1991 Cairo, Egypt, which the country grabbed five medals -- a gold, three silver and a bronze.

Four years later in Harare, Zimbabwe Games, Tanzania won two medals -a gold and bronze, while managing only one silver medal at the 1999 edition held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The 18th edition of the event was staged in Abuja, Nigeria in 2003, in which Tanzania won two medals -- one gold and a bronze, while in Algiers, Algeria 2007, Tanzania registered a silver medal.

The down fall continued in 2011 edition held in Maputo, Mozambique, in which, Tanzania managed only one silver medal.

The four-year Olympic rhythm has not missed a beat since, Brazzaville, Congo hosted the 2015 edition in honour of the Games' 50th anniversary and Tanzania took part and failed to win even a single medal.

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