Gina Bass, Ebrima Camara and Ebrima Sorrie Buaro were this morning welcomed by Youth and Sports Minister, Honorable Bakary Y. Badjie, and other high profile dignitaries and fans.
The trio and their officials arrived at the Banjul International Airport onboard Turkish Airlines after a successful outing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic in Japan.
Present at the airport were Honorable Sheikh Omar Faye, Minister of Defense, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Principal Assistant Secretary of MOYS, and Executive Director of National Sports Council, a large number of supporters from the athletes association, Gambia Police and Prison authorities and staff of the GNOC and the media.
Honourable Badjie said ‘‘This is the first time we are having a female athlete reaches this level and it is the second time the Gambia reached the semifinal but what made Gina’s semi-final exceptional for Gina is the fact that she was doing two competitions – the 100m and 200m at a go, which is the first time’’.
‘‘We are happy that they have returned home safely and yes, they did not win a medal. Winning a medal would have been the best but we are inspired by the fact that they have gained the timing to qualify and made us all proud at the games’’. He emphasized.
On the issue of Performance
What we are looking up to is to prepare this badge from Tokyo, and ensure that we prepare them very well for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Olympics Games in 2023.
With regards to support
Minister Badjie disclosed that the Government has improved a lot in terms of investment in the area of sports.
More money has been spent in terms of infrastructural development and grassroots sports development as a means to identify and train more athletes to compete and wins medals at international levels.
Honourable Badjie further stated that National Sports Council will continue to work with GNOC to organize more and more events to enable them to identify talented athletes and put them out there for training.
The Minister emphasized that His Excellency, President Adama Barrow has shown commitment to support Sports and that the team will be meeting him this evening at State House for him to extend his government's appreciation to raising the flag high.
In his reaction, Gina Bass and Ebrima Camara said, “We are extremely happy with the warm welcome.”
Later the three Olympians were drove to GNOC House and then escorted to their respective destination.