Featured image (Liberia at 2024 African Athletics Championships)

The 23rd CAA Senior Athletics Championships ended on Wednesday 26 June, after six days of competition in Douala, Cameroon. Liberia attended the African meet with 11 total athletes competing in eight events. By the end of the event Liberia walked away with three gold medals, a silver, and a bronze.

Meet the new African champions, along with the other elite athletes who represented Liberia at this year’s African Championships.

Joseph Fahnbulleh is the new African men’s 100m and 200m champ

Joseph Fahnbulleh, who already qualified for the Paris Olympics in the men’s 200m and 4x100m relay, had a stellar performance at the African Championships. He won the men’s 100m title on day two of the competition running 10.13 seconds, and beating out Cameroon’s Emmanuel Alobwede Eseme and South Africa’s Benjamin Richardson.

John Shearman also ran the men’s 100m, but did not advance past round one.

On the final day of the Championships, Fahnbulleh won the men’s 200m with a time of 20.25. Blowing away the competition, Tapiwanashe Makarawu from Zimbabwe (20.51) and Eseme (20.66).

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Ebony Morrison is the African women’s 100 meter hurdles champion

As Go Team Liberia already reported, Ebony Morrison took the gold in the women’s 100mH. She won the African title with a time of 12.70, which was a new personal best and national record. The time also qualified her for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Morrison won her title on the same day Fahnbulleh won the men’s 100m.

In a separate event, sprinter Maia McCoy also won a medal on day two. She won silver in the women’s 100m running 11.16, but her time was not fast enough to qualify for the Olympics. Destiny Smith-Barnett, who already qualified for Paris in the women’s 100m, made it to the African Championships 100m finals, but did placed fourth.

The women’s relay team missed out on a medal and Olympic spot

Outside of the wins, Liberia experienced some disappointing losses.

The women’s 4x100m relay team ran a strong round one with Morrison, Smith-Barnett, McCoy, and Symone Darius. Their 42.93 time was the fastest that day. But they weren’t able to keep up the momentum in the finals, and their time wasn’t fast enough to get them a spot at the Paris 2024 Games.

During the women’s 4x100m finals Darius was swapped for Thelma Davies, who already qualified for Paris in both the women’s 100m and 200m races. During the last leg of the race Davies appeared to experience a slight issue that allowed both Nigeria (43.01) and Ghana (43.62) to take gold and silver respectively. Liberia finished with bronze clocking 44.38.

Meanwhile, the men’s relay team ran by Akeem Sirleaf, Emmanuel Matadi, Jabez Reeves, and Sherman did not advance past round one. But the team already qualified for Paris during the Bahamas Relay in May.

Teammates pull out and pull back from men’s and women’s 200m

Even though Liberia won the men’s 200m, the team experienced some unfortunate moments in that race. Sirleaf, who was a part of the winning Bahamas Relay team, was unable to finish his 200m race due to physical issues.

Davies did not start her 200m race, but both Smith-Barnett and Darius advanced to the women’s semifinal — with Smith-Barnett advancing to the finals before pulling out of the event.

Liberia introduced a young rising shot put athlete to African Athletics Championships

Even though Liberia typically focuses on the track, this time around shot-putter Anthonett Nabwe joined the team at the African Championships. The college athlete attends University of Minnesota in the US and is going into her second year at the university.

Nabwe gave an impressive performance, despite not medaling. She ranked fourth out of 10 competitors, hurling the shot put 16.01 meters.