CYCLING: Nigerian Female Cyclist Wins 60% of Medals at African Continental Championship

The African Continental Championship 2019 has come to an end leaving athletes with joy, disappointment and a mixture of both feelings.

The three-day event featured various track cycling events. 

This year’s edition saw athletes from seven countries which include the hosts, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria. 

Nigeria may not have come out top on the medals table, but it was not any far from it either as it occupied the third spot. 

With Five silver medals and two bronze medals, Nigeria ensured they did better than four other participating countries. 

Three athletes were earlier cleared to represent the West African giant but only the duo of Mary Sunday Samuel and Tombrapa Gladys Grikpa made it to the tournament due to injuries sustained by the other athletes in training. 

Mary Samuel, an indigene of Akwa Ibom State accounted for 60% of Nigeria’s seven medals with four silver medals to her credit while her Counterpart from Rivers state grabbed the other three. 

The young lad is a discovery of the Akwa Ibom Youths Sports Festival and has continued to toil hard even as she made her international debut last year at the African Youths Championship.

Speaking to newsmen, Mary Samuel said she is grateful for the opportunity the country gave her to be part of the contingent to South Africa and the grace of God upon her life to win the majority of the medals that aided Nigeria to a third-place finish. 

“It was very hard but God made it possible for me to come out with four silver medals.  I’m very happy for myself,” an excited Mary recounted.

Mary bewailed her lack of expertise in most of the events available during the competition but promised to use the experience garnered in the championship to put out a sterling performance in future international competitions.

Mary and Gladys participated in the following cycling events: Individual Time Trial, Point Race, Scratch Race, Sprint and Omnium.

They return straight to camp in Gombe State, Nigeria to finalise preparations for the upcoming All Africa Games.