Liberian Sprinters Want Gov’t Support to Participate in All African Games

High jumper Dennis Manyeah in practice.

Liberia Athletics Federation says budget is US$20,000

With the 12th All African Games coming up in Rabat and Casablanca, Morocco from August 19 -31, 2019, at least seven athletes through the Liberia Athletics Federation (LAF), have appealed to the government to assist ‘Team Liberia’ to participate in the continental championship.

Five US-based Liberian sprinters, one China-based and the two Liberian local-based are said to be fully prepared to ably represent the country in the Morocco encounter among the over 40 African countries.

Wellington Zaza earned All-American honors in the 4x100m relay and is the only Liberian best 110 hurdle runner.

LAF president Mulbah Zaza, said the seven athletes are ready to participate in eight events in the All African Games, but were desperately in need of government support to hoist the country’s flag in Morocco during the 12th edition of the All African Games.

The athletes are Liberia’s 100 meters/200 meters runner Emmanuel Matadi, 110 meters hurdles runner Wellington Zaza, 200/400 meters racer Akeen Sirleaf, high jumper Dennis Manyeah and Nabo Selman of 4×100 relay sprinter. The five athletes are Liberian US-based, while Liberia’s China-based athlete, Andrew Kpehe will run 1500 meters as well as the lone female sprinter, a local-based will run 100 meters/200 meters.

“For the 4×100 relay event, Emmanuel, Akeem and Wellington will join Nabo,” Zaza said.

The LAF is meanwhile seeking for help in the amount of US$20,000 for the athletes and officials to Morocco.

Emmanuel Matadi, Liberian Olympian and bronze medalist in the 200 metres at the 2016 African Championships.

Among the seven athletes, two have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in Japan, and their runs in Rabat and Casablanca will be a test ahead of the popular Olympic games among over 200 countries.

Emmanuel and Akeem booked their tickets for the Japan’s Olympics in the 100 meters and 200 meters events respectively.

The vice president for Technical Affairs, Frederick Krah, said besides the government, the LAF is also seeks support from individuals and cooperate bodies that are willing to help ‘Team Liberia’ represents the country.

Ready to make their mark in the championships, the athletes have been training hard. Sources from the camps in the USA, China and Liberia revealed that they are in high spirits being aware of what is at stake ahead of them in the North African country.

The Athletes

Emmanuel Matadi is one of the most decorated and experienced Liberian athletes, and one of Liberian Olympians. He is hoping to return to the All African Games by winning gold after he won bronze in the 200 metres at the 2016 African Championships. He is a US-based Liberian athletes and his current best times are 10.01 and 20.62 seconds in 100 meters and 200 meters.

Akeem Sirleaf is a Liberian Olympian and as of July 7, 2019 his best times are 20.37 and 45.42 seconds in 200m and 400m events

Akeem Sirleaf is a Liberian Olympian and as of July 7, 2019 his best times are 20.37 and 45.42 seconds in 200 meters and 400 meters events. He is a US-based Liberian athletes.

 Wellington Zaza earned All-American honors in the 4×100 meters relay and is the only Liberian best 110 hurdle runner. He is a US-based Liberian athlete. He said to be gunning for that elusive gold medal if Liberia participate in 2019 All African Games in Morocco.

Dennis Manyeah is Liberia’s international high jumper based in the US. He has set school record in high jump and claimed many victories.

Liberia’s 1500m/5000m runner Andrew Kpehe

Nabo Selman: A Liberian-based in the US, and is best in relay. He is called the finisher clinical. He is poised to make history in Morocco if the country participates.

Andrew Kpehe: Was a Liberian local athlete and the country’s best 5000 meters and 1500 meters sprinter. He is currently in China, and still on the track running among the Chinese.

Nancy Saah: The lone and best 100 meters/200 meters female runner. Since she was crowned 2016, she is still unbeatable and her best times are 12.89 and 25.68 seconds.


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