Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a remarkable victory, Sierra Leonean sprinter Michael Dopeii Konomanyi, based in Australia, clinched the top spot in the 100 meters event at the 2023 Traditional Boxing Day Sports held at Bo Stadium in Bo Town. Clocking an impressive time of 10.06 seconds, Konomanyi’s win marks a historic achievement as the first Sierra Leonean athlete residing in Australia to participate in and triumph at the Traditional Boxing Day Sports.
Expressing his satisfaction, Konomanyi shared, “I’ve had it in my mind for a while that I have much more to give to this event.” Despite facing a series of injuries earlier in the season, his dedication and hard work on the 100 meters throughout the year paid off.
Konomanyi boasts a strong track record, commencing as a junior athlete in Australia. Six years ago, he was a member of the Australian Junior Athletics team, clinching a silver medal in the Oceanian Junior Championship for both the 100 and 200 meters.
Addressing the challenges he faced, including injuries, Konomanyi emphasized the importance of improving his timing in the 100 meters, setting and achieving personal goals. “I came here to prove a point, and I achieved my goal,” he stated, acknowledging the difficulties faced by home-based athletes due to factors such as limited training facilities and sponsorships.
In response to Konomanyi’s outstanding performance, sources within the Sierra Leone Athletics Association (SLAA) have expressed optimism about qualifying athletes for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris next year. With Konomanyi’s demonstrated potential for improvement in his timing, the SLAA is hopeful for a strong representation on the international stage. BT/28/12/2023