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Five Medals In 14 Olympics; Why Cameroon Failed Again 

By Basil K Mbuye

Mbango's jumb that won Cameroon gold

Mbango’s jumb that won Cameroon gold

After the dismal performances of athletes from Cameroon in the 2016 Rio Olympics, The Post takes a look at the country’s performances in 14 editions of the Olympic Games.

Out of the14 editions, the Cameroon delegations to the various Games have managed to win only five medals; two gold, one silver and one in bronze.

The five medals have been won in three disciplines; boxing, men’s football and women’s triple jump.

Cameroon first participated at the Olympic Games in 1964. The Games were hosted in Tokyo, Japan.

Since then, the nation has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games.

In Cameroon’s first participation, only a single athlete took part in the competition.

In Mexico City 1968, five athletes took part and Cameroon was able to win her first Olympic medal.

This was after Joseph Bessala lost to East Germany’s Manfred Wolke in Men’s Welterweight boxing final.
He thus won the silver medal.

However, Cameroon failed to win a medal in the next three editions (1972 in Munich, 1976 in Montreal and 1980 in Moscow), despite the increase in the number of athletes.

Cameroon withdrew from the 1976 Summer Olympics after three days of competition, to join the broad African boycott against the participation of New Zealand, who still had sporting links with Apartheid South Africa.

In 1984 in Los Angeles, Cameroon’s Martin Ndongo-Ebanga, won a bronze medal in men’s lightweight division, after Luis Ortiz of Puerto Rico defeated him in the semifinals.

In1988, 1992 and 1996, Cameroon again took part in the Games but none of her athlete was able to win a medal.
The barren spell of medals was again broken in Sidney 2000, when Cameroon won gold in the male football competition.

Boyed by this success, Cameroon took part in her first Winter Olympics in 2002, when Isaac Menyoli, represented the nation in Salt Lake City.

In the next two editions, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, Françoise Mbango Etone, won gold in Women’s triple jump in each of the editions.

In the 2012 Games in London and 2016 Rio Games, team Cameroon has failed again to win a single medal.
The poor performances by the athletes is not surprising to many, given that, most of them started training only a few months to the tournament.

The near absent of sporting infrastructures in the country and the lukewarm attitudes of officials to encourage the athletes further compound the problem.

However, Cameroon will be looking forward to putting on a great show when they take part in the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

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