Fofanah Wins 100-meter Hurdles at African Athletics Championships

May 1, 2008


ATLANTA – Former Georgia Tech women’s track & field standout Fatmata Fofanah took first place in the 100-meter hurdles at the 16th CAA African Athletics Championships Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Fofanah, competing for her native Guinea, finished the 100m hurdles race with a season-best time of 13.10 to earn the gold. She crossed the line .02 seconds ahead of Toyin Augustus of Nigeria.

Fofanah’s narrow victory (13.10) and over Augustus (13.12) brought Guinea their first gold medal in the 29-year history of these championships. But it came from a woman who does not speak French and is none too fond of African food. “I was born in Sierra Leone but my parents were living in Guinea so I decided to represent Guinea,” Fofanah said.

“I train in Atlanta. My father decided to move us to the United States when I was about five years old, so that is how I ended up there. This is my biggest success by far. Previously it was the national championships in the United States. I have never done this well at an international competition and it feels so good. Guinea has been looking forward to this for so long. But the food has been a big problem for me here. I have been sick for the past few days.”

Over the next three months, Fofanah will continue to prepare for the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, China, where she will represent Guinea.

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