Athletes’ winning of medals in international track and field events is a sign that the Liberia Athletics Federation (LAF) is rising to the moment with perseverance with absolutely no support from the Liberian government.
Though there are still many athletes with no appropriate running gears and proper daily meals, but definitely they are still chasing their dreams of winning medals with the considerably minuscule encouragement from the Mulbah Zaza’s LAF.
The athletes’ struggles to be supported and excelled still lack political will, while over 30 African countries, mainly; Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa and Ethiopia are getting millions in the track and field sports.
At the Traditional Boxing Day Sports Meet and the Kenema Mayor’s Marathon and Track and Field Tourney in Sierra Leone, held from December 23, 2019 to January 1, 2020, Team Liberia clenched 18 medals.
The Liberia’s athletics (Track and Field) team won one gold, nine silver and eight bronze medals and then entirely emerged second in the joint track and field meets.
Nancy Saah: Long Jump (2nd place), Javelin (2nd place), 60m (3rd place) and 100m (3rd place); Emmanuel Kratus Javelin (1st), Ernestine Nyoun: 400m (2nd place) and 800m (3rd place).
Others are Ruthfee Kemie 800m (3rd place); Marcox Sackie 800m (2nd place), Lee Danis 800m (3rd place); Saaweyea Williams (Marathon, 2nd place); 4x400m relay (3rd place) and 4x100m relay (2nd place). Athletically in relay, each player gets a medal.
In the 2018 edition of the Traditional Boxing Day Sports Meet and the Kenema Mayor’s Marathon and Track and Field Tourney, Team Liberia grabbed three gold medals, a silver and two bronze medals.
Liberia’s female long jumper Nancy Saah, Javelin thrower Charles Gbelia and Heavy weight lifter Thomas Garwo, Jr., grabbed a gold each.
5,000 meter runner, Andrew Kpehe emerged second (silver medalist) in is event while Cornelius Pennoh and Lydia Gbar snatched bronze medals in the High Jump and 200m events respectively, totaling the medals to six.
Also, in the U-20 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Athletics Championship, it has been recorded that Liberia’s male shot put, Charles Gbelia got Silver Medal, while female shot put Lawrina Cooper won a Bronze Medal.
The junior athletics championship was held from Wednesday – Sunday, June 20 – 24, 2018 at the Gold Coast Stadium in Accra, Ghana, amongst at least 350 athletes from 14 countries.
“We hope to get support from the government and sponsorship from the business community, because the Liberia Athletics Federation (LAF) is the only sporting association which has brought gold, silver and bronze medals in the country,” Mr. Mulbah Zaza, president of LAF disclosed.
“Our athletes can do greater things more than Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Kenya, if we are supported,” Zaza said.
For his part, the Vice President for Technical Affairs, Frederick Krah, said the athletes need only to be trained; scholarship to continue their education; and ways of getting to any tournament to participate.
The LAF is considered the mother sports of all of the sporting disciplines in Liberia as well as the Liberian oldest sports, dating back in the early 1900s.