Passon won 2 gold medals in the last African Games and one gold in the 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games. (NSC Seychelles)
(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles will compete in seven sporting disciplines at the upcoming African Games, scheduled to take place from 8 to 23 March next year in Ghana.
The 13th African Games previously known, as the All-Africa Games, will see the participation of 53 nations and Seychelles will be present with a delegation of over 50 athletes.
As has been the case since the last games in 2019, Seychelles has selected the sports its athletes will compete in based on performances in the Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG). Winners of medals were chosen for the African Games.
The disciplines Seychelles will take part in are athletics, boxing, judo, swimming, weightlifting, volleyball and beach volleyball.
“As you can see we have beach volleyball added in there, and obviously that is a sport that was not part of the IOIG. We chose to add beach volleyball because of how well the sport has performed on the continent in previous games,” said Steve Hoareau, the acting director for Competitive Sports at the National Sports Council.
Team Seychelles won a total of 84 medals, which consisted of 11 gold, 33 silver, and 40 bronze medals at the IOIG, which took place from August 25 to September 3 in Madagascar, finishing fourth on the medals table.
This was one of the lowest tallys of gold medals for the island nation at the IOIG. The lowest number of gold medals Seychelles has won at the IOIG was in 1990 in Madagascar with a total of six in the games that featured 13 disciplines.
Hoareau explained that all the respective federations have been made aware since September that they needed to make their pre-selection of athletes for the games, as well as training programmes and budget.
“Until now we have five of the seven federations that have responded with all that we have asked for aside from their budgets, while volleyball has not given us their pre-selections, and weightlifting has yet to send us anything,” Hoareau added.
It should be noted that at the moment, Seychelles’ weightlifting is mired in controversy, with several unconfirmed reports stating that some of their athletes have tested positive for banned substances. No official confirmation has been announced.
Seychelles remains hopeful because in the last edition of the African Games in Morocco in August 2019, Team Seychelles won two golds, one silver and one bronze medal. All the medals were won by swimmer Felicity Passon.
The African Games is a continental multi-sport event held every four years, organised by the African Union with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa and the Association of African Sports Confederations. All of the competing nations are from the African continent.