ESWATINI EYES AFRICA GAMES MEDALS

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ESWATINI EYES AFRICA GAMES MEDALS
ESWATINI EYES AFRICA GAMES MEDALS

Africa-Press – Eswatini. The 13 athletes who will be leaving the country en route to Ghana for the African Games have been urged to fight for a podium finish.

A team of these athletes, five coaches and two officials will be leaving the country as of today in groups for the continental showpiece, scheduled to run from March 8 to 23 in Accra. The squad was officially sent off by the Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Bongani Nzima.

The farewell event was held at the Eswatini Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (EOCGA) conference room yesterday morning. During his maiden team departure speech, Nzima challenged the athletes to adopt the government’s ‘nkwe’ approach and surpass their 2019 performance.

During the showdown staged in Morocco, Eswatini came short of the podium finish stage. “We urge you to exhibit a ‘nkwe’ attitude in everything you do in Ghana. It is such an approach that will allow you to leave your opponents in your wake and bring medals back home,” Nzima said.

Eswatini will be represented in athletics, taekwondo, swimming, boxing and karate. The travelling costs had an estimated budget of E1.7 million, with joint funding from the Eswatini Sports and Recreation Council (ESRC) and the EOCGA. “While we didn’t achieve any podium finish in the last African Games in Morocco back in 2019, it is my belief that we are putting out a strong team that will make history and put Eswatini on the map this year,” Nzima said.

He urged the athletes from the five sporting codes to be united and support each other on and off the field. The minister trusted that senior runners Sibusiso ‘Swazi Bolt’ Matsenjwa and Bongiwe Mahlalela would have a key role to play. “I urge the seniors among you, Sibusiso and Bongiwe, to take a lead in ensuring that there is unity throughout this team. We are not sending out individuals here today, but a team – one team, representing the whole of Eswatini,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, EOCGA President Adam ‘Bomber’ Mthethwa had his confidence in the team to carry out the mandate given.

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