Commonwealth Games: Poor Outing By Cameroonian Athletes

Even though the country won three medals, their output at the games leaves much to be desired.

The 21st Commonwealth Games have come and gone. The event ended at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast on Sunday April 15, 2018. For close to two weeks over 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 countries in the Commonwealth competed in 18 sports disciplines and seven para sports.

Cameroon took part in the competition in six disciplines with 42 athletes. The disciplines are boxing, weightlifting, badminton, basketball, wrestling and basketball.

Cameroon’s performance at the games leaves much to be desired. Before leaving the country the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Bidoung Mkpatt challenged the athletes to be worthy ambassadors of Cameroon through brilliant performances and exemplary conduct. However, the reverse was true given the poor showing and misconduct of the athletes in Gold Coast.

Out of the six disciplines only boxing, weightlifting and athletics won medals for Cameroon. Clémentine Meukeugni won bronze in weightlifting, Seyi Wilfired won silver in boxing and Marcel Mayack II got bronze in triple jump. Cameroon finished 32nd out of 71 participating countries.

The performance of team Cameroon at the 21st Commonwealth Games is the worst since their first participation in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. In the last edition in Glasgow in 2014, Cameroon won seven medals; one gold, three silver and three bronze.

Even in weightlifting where Cameroon has had its best performance in the Commonwealth Games, only a bronze medal could be won. The absence of medal hopefuls like Auriol Dogmo, African shot put champion, also affected the performance of Team Cameroon.   

Apart from the performances of the athletes, Cameroon’s participation at the Commonwealth Games has been described as disgraceful by many following the defection of eight athletes from the group. Out of the eight runaways five were boxers who left the group for reasons best known to them.

That has always been the case in previous editions. The fact that some of the athletes absconded was enough reason to discourage the others and even hamper their performance in the course of the competition.

Efforts by government to ensure the smooth participation of athletes at the Commonwealth Games have not received attention from all and sundry as some believe it is an opportunity to seek for adequate training and better lives.

However, government is continuing with its efforts in providing the best conditions for the training of athletes for future international competitions.

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