Tanzania: Samia Urges Queen’s Baton Tour to Help Revive Medal Haul
Samia Suluhu Hassan has directed that the arrival of the Queen’s Baton serve as a wake-up call to the sports organizations whose athletes brought Tanzania medals in the key events.
Tanzania has won 21 medals in field events, sprints, middle and long-distance races in the 60 years since it got independence from Britain in 1961.
Tanzania’s most valued medal at the Commonwealth Games is gold, which Filbert Bayi won in 1974 in Christchurch, New Zealand, when he set a world record in the 3000m steeplechase.
The delivery of the Queen’s Baton in Tanzania officially heralds the entrance of the next Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Birmingham, England, in 2022.
President Samia urged the officials in charge of three sports whose athletes won gold for Tanzania to take advantage of the arrival of the baton and begin planning for the Club Games in Birmingham. In 2006, Samson Ramadhan won Tanzania’s last Commonwealth Games medal.
He won the gold medal in the 42-kilometer full marathon. Francis Naali won Tanzania’s first gold medal in the marathon in 2002, when he finished first in the 42km race at the Club Games in Manchester, England. Tanzania has six gold, six silver, and nine bronze medals out of a total of 21 medals.
Titus Simba won the first silver medal in boxing in 1968 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and his achievement fueled the sport’s ascent to become a prominent medal contender in many later world-level games.
Michael Yombayomba won the inaugural gold medal in boxing at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 at Club Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Simon Mrashani and Geway Suja won silver and bronze medals in the same marathon. Filbert Bayi is a Commonwealth Games icon, having established a 1500m record in the 1974 Games in Christchurch, New Zealand.
He won the race after beating off New Zealand’s John Walker and Kenya’s Ben Jipcho. Bayi’s Club Games record has stood for 47 years.
Bayi, the Secretary-General of the Tanzania Olympic Committee, presented the Queen’s Baton to President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Saturday at the State House in Dar es Salaam.