Sierra Leonean pair, Patrick Lombi and Abu Bakarr Kamara put up an impressive performance to defeat Sri Lanka by two straight sets in their final group match on Monday, to qualify for the quarter-final stage in the ongoing Commonwealth games in Gold Coast, their first ever on the big stage.
They led throughout the first set to win 21-17 with some powerful spikes from the pair. The second set was different as they trailed from behind most of time, needing two points’ advantage when the scoreline was 20-20. One powerful spike, each from the pair got them through to lead in the 22-20 win.
Sierra Leone qualified as one of the two best losers after one win and two defeats to Canada and Scotland respectively. The West African country would now face host nation Australia in the quarter-finals, Tuesday at 19:30 Gold Coast time (09:30GMT).
In another development, Sierra Leone male and female sprinters failed to qualify for the 200m semis from their respective categories. Mariatu Koroma and Sierra Leone’s 200m women’s record holder Hafsatu Kamara were the first to take on to the track in different heats, before Mohamed Othman and Vivian Williams showed up in theirs.
All four athletes also failed to improve on the personal best records. Koroma based in the USA came 7th in heat 1 of the women’s race with a time of 15.59 while Kamara came 7th in heat 2 clocking 24.50 secs. Kamara said after the race that she wasn’t in her best shape of form as she was just returning from injury. She added: “My target is the African championships.”
Othman and Williams finished 6th position each in their respective heats with the former clocking 22.22 secs and the latter 21.89. The athletes also failed in their attempts, few days ago, to qualify for the 100m semis when they took part in different heats.
This means Sierra Leone no longer have any hope of winning a medal in Athletics.
Emmanuel Gboyah and Rene Benjamin lost 4-0 each to Ghana’s Darek Abrefa and Nooa Takooa of kiribati.
Alie Kamara finished in 51st position out of 53 cyclists that finished 38.5 km road race in the Men’s individual time trial, after he clocked 1:09:14.94. Three cyclists didn’t finish, and among them was Sierra Leone’s other representative Mahmoud Keita