South Sudan wins gold, bronze at global Olympics Games
South Sudan won two gold and three bronze medals at the just concluded global Special Olympics Games held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital, Abu Dhabi.
The Secretary General of the South Sudan National Olympic Committee (SSNOC), Dr. Tong Chor Malek praised the team that comprised of two girls and a boy with disability for defying the odds to bring home the first ever medals from a global athletics event.
When we played in Abu Dhabi, we won five medals (two golds and three bronze) with only three athletes, said Malek in Juba on Friday.
He said both al-Paza Ismail, 18, and Ester Wayet Isaac won gold medals while Sarah Juru and John Tombe won bronze medals respectively.
A total of 7,500 participants from 194 countries took part in the global Special Olympic Games held from March 14-21, according to Malek.
He said South Sudan won gold medals in 200 meters and bronze in 100 meters, plus an honorary symbol at the games in Abu Dhabi.
We are hoping at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, we are going to participate with a big number in various fields like basketball, volleyball and athletics and may get more medals, said Malek.
People are happy in Abu Dhabi because South Sudan is among the 40 new countries that joined Paralympic Games and we are number one among these countries for having won five medals, he added.
SSNOC became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during its 128th session held in August 2015. South Sudan became a member of global Special Olympics in August last year.
We are telling people there are so many people in South Sudan with the same (disabilities) situation and we need them to come out. We want those with down syndrome, epilepsy and mental retardation to come out and participate in Special Olympics, said Malek.
We want to take people with interaction disability out of their families; they have to come as part of the community. They have to play and participate with the community, he added.
Malek urged government to support SSNOC and athletes preparing to participate in future Paralympics and Special Olympics games.
Source: Radio Tamazuj