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The Best African Athletes Going To Paris 2024

The Best African Athletes Going To Paris 2024

The Olympic Games are right around the corner, and Paris, France, is making the final preparations to host this quadrennial celebration of sports. Africa has no shortage of great athletes, but which ones will impress the most, and who are the best online sportsbooks rating as the favorites to return with the gold for their country?

Selemon Barega – Ethiopia – Long Distance Running

Long-distance running? That’s precisely what Selemon Barega gets up for in the morning. The runner from the Gurage Zone, Ethiopia, earned his country a gold medal in the 10,000 m event at the last games in Tokyo. Since then, he’s continued to win medals in various championships, making him one of the favorites again on the track in the 10,000m race and other distances like 5000m and 3000m.

Ahmed El-Gendy – Egypt – Modern Penthalon

Any athlete practicing pentathlon must be pretty good, considering they must master five distinct sporting disciplines. Ahmed El-Gendy made history in Tokyo as he was the first African to win a medal in the sport, ensuring he received praise from both domestic and international audiences. He won silver there by the slimmest of margins, as the eventual winner, Joe Choong from Great Britain, finished with a superior race record.

However, El-Gendy is four years younger than his British adversary and, therefore, has youth on his side. He has also been incredibly active and successful heading into the Olympics, winning a gold medal at the African Games.

Ahmed Hafnaoui – Tunisia – Swimming

Ahmed Hafnaoui made headlines when he won the 400m freestyle gold medal in Tokyo 2020. Due to its hot climate and relatively little water within its borders, Tunisia isn’t famed for swimming prowess. That, however, hasn’t stopped Hafnaoui from continuing to succeed in the pool; he’s won countless championships since that event in Japan and is now competing in many race types. He has said that he wants to break the 1500m world record and thinks he could do it at the Olympics of the World Aquatics Championships later in the year.

Related: Match Preview: Road To Paris 2024; Nigeria vs South Africa

Tatjana Schoenmaker – South Africa – Swimming

Another African who could succeed in Paris’s pools is Tatjana Schoenmaker. The 26-year-old swimmer has previously held countless world records, including the 200m breaststroke time. Despite having that record taken away from her, she was named the African Swimmer of the Year in 2023 and will want to be in contention for that moniker again with a good showing here in France. In the 2020 Olympic games, she won the 200m breaststroke competition and earned the silver in 100m. Could she win both golds this year?

Ons Jabeur – Tunisia – Tennis

There is nothing sure about tennis, especially with the Olympic Games tournament, which has been known to throw up a few surprises. On paper, Iga Swiatek, the Polish sensation and WTA no.1, should win the gold medal, but the games aren’t played on paper. Ons Jabeur has shown an acute ability to develop good tournament runs.

Alexandra Ndolo – Kenya – Fencing

Kenya has never had a professional fencer until Alexandra Ndolo. However, she hasn’t always represented Kenya. She was born in Germany to a Kenyan father and started fencing relatively late. She won multiple medals while wearing the German national colors but has since decided to fly the flag for Kenya instead.

Ayomide Emmanuel Bello – Nigeria – Canoeing

African nations are not famed for success in sailing or boat-style sports. The woman who wants to change everything is 21-year-old Ayomide Emmanuel Bello. She competed in the 2020 Olympics as a teenager and has won multiple youth and African competitions due to her natural skill and hard work. At this point, it would be fair to suggest that the best online sportsbook for every sport aren’t looking at her as an expected champion, but with a favourable draw she could still go far.

Wayde van Niekerk – South Africa – Running

One of South Africa’s fastest runners is Wayde van Niekerk. His resume speaks for itself. World Championships wins in 200m and 400m. Multiple African championships and even won a gold medal for Africa in the 2014 Continental Cup. Unfortunately, the 31-year-old had a terrible Olympic Games in Tokyo and has previously said that he was struggling with his mental health.

As such, van Niekerk has said that he will make this Olympic Games one to remember. If he marries up his dedication with the ability he’s shown throughout his career, he will undoubtedly take home a medal or two.


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