By: Hadram Hydara
On the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean — far from home and feet upon the rubber tracks of the African Athletic Championship — Gambia’s queen sprinter, Gina Bass, like a cheetah chasing its prey — dashed to gold in the Women’s 100m race before the Gambia could release its united bated breath.
There she was — ‘the poor Olympian’ — at the end of the finish line before her racing heart could skip for the twelfth time. It was epoch-making for both Gina and the tiny country she comes from. It was history — not the watered-down curriculums in your books, no — this is the biblical type, written before our eyes. It is a GOLDEN history written by a STAR!
11.06 was the clock of gold around which Gina’s lightning-speed ticked, breaking her own record — twice at the Championship — and the national record which, again, she previously set. Flip through her record pages, and history would tell you, that on the 9th of June 2022 Gina Bass graced the podium to scoop her gold medal and became the first athlete ever in the history of the Gambia to win a senior continental title.
From humble beginnings, Gina has risen, however roughly, to the celebrated echelon of Gambian sports and beyond; an inspirational figure to the many children who aspire to pursue athletics. Gina epitomises the inspiring adage that “if you can dream it, you can live it” and despite her seemingly never-ending smile, it has not been easy she would always say, but through hard work anything is possible.
One of the most — if not the most — decorated Gambian athlete, the track sensation has broken records, set them, and broken them again rewriting history in her wake not with a spot of ink, but with her feet leaving a trail of success. Gina deserves her flowers now, and to that, I say, GRACIAS, QUEEN.