Saturday February 18, 2017

South Sudan finally joins IOC and may compete in Rio Olympics 2016

South Sudan's long distant runner, Guor Marial (Photo: AFP)

NAIROBI – South Sudan has been accepted as the 206 member of the International Olympic Committee after 4 years of rustless attempt to join the international body.

The news come on Friday after members of IOC called a meeting and decided the fate of the young athletic body member.

 

South Sudan has a new local IOC association but doesn’t have enough athletes for major competitions. But 4 of their distant running athletes have been training intensively in Kenya altitudes highland of Iten. The group is led by international known South Sudanese athlete Guor Miading Miaker, a long distant runner who once competed under olympic flag instead of Sudanese flag at the time.

 

South Sudan’s IOC local chairman said he was delighted on the country’s acceptance by the IOC and promised the country will do whatever it can to send a team to the olympic in Brazil next year.

“I am delighted and exhilarated. This will promote reconciliation and national unity…Being a member of the IOC will allow us to send a team to next year’s Olympics. At present we have four athletes, all training in Kenya.” – Wilson Kuoirot, the local IOC chairman said.

 

The IOC in their acceptance of the country revealed that despite the crisis in the country, athletics will be an helpful tool to heal the country and that there was no need for rejection based on the unending crisis.

If all goes to plans according to Kuoirot, Guor and his colleagues are likely to compete against distant running powerhouses like Kenya and Ethiopia who have been dominating tracks for the past decades.

Moreover, Guor Miading has been acknowledged by the IOC on Friday as an active campaigner to get South Sudan the much needed membership. Guor for the past 2 years has been campaigning internationally writing letters to IOC members state and councils demanding inclusion of the country.

 

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