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Wrestlers present bronze medals to NOC-SL prexy

June  16, 2015 By Sahr Morris Jr.

Sierra Leone wrestling duo, Abdulai Salam and Hajaratu Kanu, on Friday presented to the National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone (NOC-SL) president their bronze medals won at the just concluded African Championship in Cairo, Egypt.

The pair was alongside the Sierra Leone Swimming Association president, Prince Sualley, as the presentation ceremony was held at the NOC-SL headquarters at Howe Street in central Freetown.

Sualley, who led the delegation to Cairo, thanked the NOC-SL for their support in ensuring the country’s participation in the Championship.

He said he was overwhelmed with the performance of both Salam and Hajaratu throughout the competition despite they were unable to secure gold and silver medals.

“Let me thank NOC-SL for their support in providing two air-tickets for us, and we are proud to return home with two bronze medals,” said Sualley as he looks forward to the World Championship. “Had it not been for the Ebola situation in the country, which has deprived us from full-strength training, we could have returned with gold or silver because Hajaratu won silver last year.”

He added: “Our success in the African Championship has paved the way for us to compete in the World Championship later this year, for which I am confident we will return home with at least a medal.”

NOC-SL president, Dr. Patrick Coker, who happily received the delegation, said he was proud of the two fighters’ achievement and encouraged them to keep improving and flying the country’s flag higher.

This is the third African Championship medal for the duo after previous success in Marrakesh, Morocco, where Salam won a bronze medal in the 74kg Greco Roman style and Hajaratu secured bronze in the Olympic qualification.

Their last success was achieved in Tunis with Hajaratu securing silver medal in the 75kg female bout, whilst Salam fought in the 75kg Greco Roman style category where he took the bronze medal.

The Sierra Leone Wrestling Association are no longer strangers to winning medals in international competitions as they had previously won bronze in the 84kg free style fight at the African Championship in Dakar, Senegal in 2011, thanks to fighter David Conteh.

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