in Juba, South Sudan celebrates the historic qualification of its men’s basketball team for the Olympics

in Juba South Sudan celebrates the historic qualification of its

In Juba, the capital of South Sudan, the 50 days countdown to the Paris Olympics was celebrated on May 6. The Olympics will begin at the end of July and the youngest country in the world will make a resounding entrance with the qualification of the Bright Stars, its national men’s basketball team. Foreign dignitaries, officials and South Sudanese athletes gathered to encourage the country, known more for its wars and the humanitarian crisis it is going through than for its sporting talents.

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With our correspondent in Juba, Florence Miettaux

The Paris Olympic Games are fast approaching, and in Juba the excitement is palpable. For the president of the National Olympic Committee, Juma Stephen Lugga Lemi, Paris 2024 is an opportunity for South Sudan to showcase its talent in broad daylight, by competing with the “ giants “.

For the first time in history, our basketball players will represent not only South Sudan, but also be the only representatives of African basketball at the Olympic Games ! »

The first African athlete to win the New York marathon in 1994, Kenyan Tegla Loroupe, who promotes peace through sport with her foundation, wants to serve as an example to young South Sudanese in rural communities, plagued by incessant conflicts. . “ I come from a marginalized cattle ranching community, like many of you. And if I managed to win against the rest of the world, you can do it too ! »

Very invested in refugee athletes, the ex-marathon runner campaigns for South Sudanese competing abroad to return and carry the banner of their country of origin in international competitions: “ When they compete for South Sudan, their medals will not just be for South Sudan but for all of Africa “.

Qualified for the Paris Olympics in basketball, the youngest country in the world is also qualified for boxing and taekwondo. A day of prayer will take place before the departure of all the athletes for Paris.

Read also2024 Olympics: South Sudanese basketball players arouse the pride and expectations of an entire people