12 African Nations With The Biggest Olympic Contingents
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are only days away, and Olympic contingents have been finalised.
Sportsmen and women from all over the African continent have been preparing for these games for the last four years, and will form part of teams representing their nations on the greatest stage of all in Brazil.
With strict qualification criteria applied to all of the disciplines in the multi-sport event, qualifying to take part is no easy feat, and large African teams going to Rio can be very proud of their achievements.
We take a look at 12 of the African countries who are bringing large Olympic teams to Rio 2016.
African wrestler of the decade Isabelle Sambou will be the flag bearer for a 22-person Senegal Olympic team in Rio, which will be nation’s fourteenth consecutive appearance at the Summer Olympics.
Cameroon have a total of 24 athletes who have managed to achieve qualification to take part in Rio 2016. Six sports will have a Cameroonian presence, including boxing, in which Wilfried Ntsengue will compete.
A selection of 25 athletes will be in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games this year, as they attempt to make their country proud while competing in sports such as athletics, handball, judo, rowing, sailing and swimming.
Zimbabwe is sending its second largest ever Olympic team to represent the country in Rio, with 31 athletes travelling to Brazil to compete for medals in sporting events that include athletics, soccer, equestrian, archery, rowing, swimming and shooting.
The Ethiopian contingent at the Rio Olympics will be made up of a 33-person team that is focused on athletic glory on the track, with specific focus on the long distance events that Ethiopia is famous for.
Equestrian competitor Abdelkebir Ouaddar will lead out a Moroccan team of 51 Olympians at the opening ceremony in Rio this weekend, with the country set to compete in events across 13 sports in Brazil this month.
With 61 athletes representing Tunisia in a total of 17 sports, the North African country is very well represented. Long distance swimmer and London 2012 gold medallist Oussama Mellouli will be Tunisia’s flag bearer.
A selection of 64 athletes will form Algeria’s Olympic representation at the 2016 Games, with the large North African team competing in a variety of disciplines including track and field athletics, men’s soccer, boxing, fencing, wrestling, rowing, sailing, swimming, gymnastics and cycling.
The Nigerian Olympic team is comprised of a total of 79 athletes in 9 sports, with a mission of making their nation proud in Brazil. The Dream Team VI men’s soccer team have qualified for Rio 2016, and will look to replicate the Atlanta 1996 gold medal winning run in Brazil.
As is often the case, Kenya will have one of the biggest Olympic contingents from Africa, with a total of 89 athletes set to compete in Brazil this August. The majority of those are from the athletics code in which Kenya often dominates, while other disciplines represented include judo, rugby sevens (both men’s and women’s), boxing and archery.
Egypt will have comprehensive representation at the 2016 Olympic Games, thanks to a team of 120 individuals who will take part in 20 disciplines during the course of the competition. Swimming, handball, shooting, judo and fencing will be competitive sports for the Egyptians in Brazil.
The biggest ever South African contingent of 137 athletes will be making an appearance at Rio 2016, with 39 of those in the athletics code. The men’s and women’s soccer teams have also qualified, as well as the men’s sevens rugby team, as South Africa attempts to earn a record medal haul.
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