Featured image by Matadi (Ebony Morrison with gold medal at African Senior Championships)

Updated: 24, June 2024 — This article was updated to show that Letsile Tebogo attended the men’s 100m semifinals and false started.

The 23rd CAA African Senior Championships has begun and Liberia is already making a name for itself. Currently, Team Liberia has won two championship titles and a silver medal at the competition, which will last from Friday 21, June to Wednesday 26, June in Douala, Cameroon. Here’s the recap of the first three days of the African Championships.

Day one African Senior Championships results

Liberia touched down in Cameroon with 11 total athletes competing in the men’s and women’s 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay, the women’s 100 meter hurdles, and women’s shot put.

On the first day, Joseph Fahnbulleh, John Sherman, Destiny Smith-Barnett, and Maia McCoy competed in the men’s and women’s 100m races, while Ebony Morrison ran the women’s 100mH.

All runners advanced with the exception of Sherman, who placed fourth in his heat running 10.71. Fahnbulleh placed first in his heat and advanced to the semifinals running 10.15. Smith-Barnett placed second in her heat running 11.43 and McCoy placed fourth in her heat, advancing with a time of 11.63. Meanwhile, Morrison placed first in her heat and advanced in the women’s 100 meter hurdles, running 13.05.

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Day two results

Liberia made its mark on the second day of the championships. All athletes advanced past the semifinals to compete in the finals of the women’s 100mH, women’s 100m, and men’s 100m.

When all was said and done, Liberia walked away as the champions of the women’s 100 meter hurdles and men’s 100m events. First, Morrison won the women’s 100m hurdles African title with a time of 12.70. South Africa’s Marine Fourie won silver and Madagascar’s Sidonie Fiandanantsoa took bronze.

Morrison with African Senior Championships gold medal
Morrison posing with African Senior Championships women’s 100mH gold medal.

During this race, Morrison also qualified for the Paris Games and broke the national record she set at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.

Next, Smith-Barnett and McCoy went head-to-head with other finalists in the women’s 100m race. Smith-Barnett, who has already qualified for Paris and is the national record-holder in this event, ran 11.34 and placed fourth — missing out on the bronze, which went to Ivory Coast’s Maboundou Kone.

McCoy, who won silver in the women’s 100m at the African Games, repeated her victory in Douala. She took silver for Liberia, once again, running an 11.16. The women’s 100m African title went to Gambia’s Gina Mariam Bass Bitaye, who ran 11.14.

Fahnbulleh and McCoy with African Senior Championships medals.
Fahnbulleh and McCoy posing with medals in the stadium stands.

Finally, Fahnbulleh emerged as the men’s 100m African champion,  running 10.13 while Cameroon’s Emmanuel Esme Alobwede took silver, and South Africa’s Benjamin Richardson took bronze.

Noticeably, other highly-anticipated African runners such as Letsile Tebogo of Botswana and Marie Josee Ta Lou-Smith of Ivory Coast, led round one in the men’s and women’s 100m, but weren’t present in the finals due to the disorganization of the competition. Tebogo gave a false start in the men’s 100m semifinals, which some spectators assumed was an intentional form of protest, and Ta Lou-Smith skipped out on the women’s event altogether.

Africa’s leading 100 meter hurdler Tobi Amusan of Nigeria reportedly withdrew from the competition due to illness.

Day three results

The men’s and women’s 4×100 relay event took place on day three. As expected, Liberia’s 4×100 women’s team blew past the competition placing first in their heat and overall in round one. They ran a 42.93.

Morrison ran first leg followed by Barnett-Smith, McCoy, and Symone Darius as the anchor.

The ladies will run again in the finals for a shot at the title. Team Ghana, Congo, Burundi, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Botswana, and Namibia will join them.

Liberia’s women’s relay team is fighting for their spot in Paris, and this performance puts them in a good position. However, the team will have to wait until 30 June to see if their time is among the top 16 that will compete in Paris.

After the women locked in their times, the men’s team took to the track. The group was led by first leg Akeem SirleafEmmanuel Matadi, Jabez Reeves, and Sherman followed. They ran 40.00, placed third in their heat, and unfortunately did not advance to the next round.

What’s next

Below is the tentative schedule for the rest of the Championships. Fans can watch the races on Athletics Africa’s X (formerly Twitter) account.

Mon. 24 June

  • Women’s shot Put
  • Women’s 4×100 finals

Tues. 25 June

  • Women’s 200m round 1 and semifinals
  • Men’s 200m round 1 and semi finals

Weds. 26 June

  • Women’s 200m finals
  • Men’s 200m finals

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