Team Preview: Cameroon

Note: Last minute changes are always possible

Cameroon, located in Western Africa made its Summer Olympic debut in 1964 and has competed ever since. In 1976 the nation initially participated, but withdrew a few days into the Olympics in support of the African boycott. In its history Cameroon has won a total of five medals over three sports. 2012 marked the first time Cameroon failed to medal since 1996. Going into Rio the nation is currently not favoured to win a medal.

Cameroon’s best chance at winning an Olympic medal will come in boxing. With AIBA allowing professional boxers into the Olympics, in a last minute decision, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam was able to qualify during the final qualification tournament. Hassan is a 2004 Olympian and as a professional athlete he has amassed a 33-2 record and has held the world middleweight title in two different organizations (WBA and WBO). He will compete in the men’s light heavyweight. 2015 African Games gold medalist Wilfried Ntsengue will compete in the middleweight event. He will be joined by 2008 Olympian Mahaman Smaila in the light welterweight and Simplice Fotsala in the light flyweight.

In wrestling Cameroon will be represented by three women. 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 African Games silver and gold medalist respectively Annabelle Ali will lead the team as she will compete in her third Olympics in the women’s freestyle -75kg. She will be joined by 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist and 2015 African Games silver medalist Rebecca Muambo in the women’s freestyle -48kg and Joseph Essombe in the women’s freestyle -53kg.

Cameroon will be making its Olympic debut in women’s volleyball. The team qualified after winning the African qualifiers. Continentally the team is one of the strongest nations with silver and bronze medals won at the 2015 African Games and 2015 African Championship respectively. However, the team is lacking world experience and in the few times in which they have competed their results have been lacking, such as their 21st place finish at the 2014 World Championships.

In athletics Cameroon will send two athletes. 2015 African Games gold medalist Joelle Nkouindjin will compete in the women’s triple jump while 2016 African Championship gold medalist Auriol Dongmo will compete in the women’s shot put.

Other sports Cameroon will compete include judo where 2015 African Games bronze medalist Hortence Atangana will compete in the women’s -78kg. In weightlifting Cameroon will be represented by Petit Mikoumba (men’s -94kg) and Archangeline Fouodji (women’s -69kg).

Overall Cameroon will send 24 athletes to compete in 6 sports. This will be the smallest team sent to the Olympics since 2004.

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