By Sab Osuji In Brazzaville:
Photo By Ganiyu Yusuf:
It was an emotional moment when Congo won their first ever gold medal in the All Africa Games here in Kintele, Congo Brazzaville on Monday.
As the 11th All Africa Games tagged Congo Brazzaville2015 entered its day four, attention shifted to the Indoor Sports Hall of the Stade de I’Unite Kintele where karate event commenced on Monday.
In the -60kg category final, men, Okemba prevailed over his Bouamria Abdelkarim 3-2 to win the gold medal in the event, which incidentally was Congo Brazzaville’s first gold medal in the All Africa Games despite being the first host in 1965.
The ever cheering and supporting crowd who had been singing his praises as the elimination series continued, quickly hauled him out of the hall for celebration.
Before mounting the podium to receive his gold medal, Okemba told completesportsnigeria.com that he is not a Nigerian and that he had no link or root in Nigeria despite his name suggesting otherwise.
“First I must say I’m pleased to emerge winner in the contest and become the first athlete to win a gold medal for my country, Congo,” a delighted Okemba said.
“I must say the motivation to push for the top is in response to our President’s charge for us to do our country proud and also the promise he made to us.
“But as for whether I’m a Nigerian or has root in Nigeria, my answer is clear no; I’m not a Nigerian and have not even visited Nigeria before.
“I am a full Congolese and will remain a Congoles, I only hear about Nigeria as African brothers and a big country for that matter.”
Congolese journalist friend, Cleves Nkie-Mongo, had few days ago told completesportsnigeria.com here in Congo Brazzaville that Okemba is a potential gold medal prospect for the country.
Meanwhile, Team Nigeria on Monday lost out in the bronze medal fight in the karate event at the on-going 11th All African Games in Congo Brazzaville.
Fighting in the -55kg women’s category, Team Nigeria’s Ikeh Juliet lost to her Republic of Benin counterpart, Ganiere Oceanne Mylene.
The fight took place at the Indoor Sports Hall of Kintele Sports Complex, Monday evening.
Egyptian karateker, Attia Yassmin won the gold medal with a 4-0 defeat of Ndiaye Mariane of Senegal.
In the kata women’s final, Algeria’s Hadj-Said Manal Kamilia beat Sayd Sarah of Egypt 4-1 to go home with the gold medal.
In the Male kata event, Algeria’s Moad Outis edged his Egyptian counterpart, Shawky Ahmed to win the gold medal.