Burkina Faso - 2022: A year rich in emotions

SNA – Etalons, Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso - 2022: A year rich in emotions

The sporting year 2022 in Burkina Faso has had its ups and downs, but some satisfactions are to be retained: first the 4th place of the Stallions at the AFCON in Cameroon, the first participation of the Women Stallions at the Women's AFCON Morocco 2022, the historic match between the Red Devils of Belgium and the Stallions A, the first official title in MMA of Israel Mano, the silver medal of Hugues-Fabrice Zango at the World Athletics Championships, the fourth world title of Iron Biby in Log lift and the silver medal won by Fayçal Sawadogo at the African Taekwondo championship.

It all started well in January 2022 with the Africa Cup of Nations where Burkina Faso struck a chord. Marking their return after missing the 2019 AFCON in Egypt, the men of Kamou Malo, coach at the time, finished fourth behind host Cameroon, Egypt and Senegal, the big winner. Following this brilliant participation, the team was invited to Belgium in March 2022 for an international friendly match against the Red Devils. A first, which ended in a defeat (3-0) of the Burkinabe. In the women's team, the A team managed to qualify for the first time in its history to the WAFCON. Despite the elimination in the first round, it has done well. Some players managed to get contracts such as Juliette Nana (Hatayspor) and Madinatou Rouamba (Fatih Karagümrük of Istanbul), who are now playing in the Turkish Women's Super League, or Adama Congo, who signed for Malabo Kings in Equatorial Guinea.

After 12 years of absence, the Burkinabe U17 have secured their ticket for the 2023 AFCON finals, which will be played in Algeria. Their last participation dates back to 2011 in Rwanda. A competition that Bertrand Traore and his teammates had won. In October 2022, the president of the Burkina Faso Football Federation (FBF), Lazare Banssé, a member of the finance committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), was elected second vice-president of the UFOA's West B Zone.

Individual sports also honored
In athletics, Hugues-Fabrice Zango won the silver medal at the Oregon 2022 World Championships. Burkina Faso's first Olympic medalist jumped 17.55m, finishing second behind Olympic champion Pedro Pichardo (17.95m) and ahead of China's Zhu Yaming (17.31m). The triple jumper had won gold at the African Championships with a leap of 17m34. His compatriot Marthe Koala was also crowned African champion in the long jump with a leap of 6m43. Koala won gold at the Islamic Solidarity Games held in Konya, Turkey.

In MMA, Israel Mano won his first title against Mohamed Ashoor in the 120kg weight class at the Khalid bin Hammad MMA Open Championship 2022 on July 22 in Manama, Bahrain. Three rounds were enough for the Burkinabe to defeat his opponent. In October, Israel Mano confirmed all the good things we think of him by beating the French Rémy Serge in the light heavyweight category of 93 kg at the international tournament Brave 64 African All stars, still organized in Bahrain. In addition to MMA, Taekwondo also gave a smile to the lovers of the discipline.

The Burkinabe champion Fayçal Sawadogo won the silver medal in July 2022, raising the flag of Burkina Faso in this prestigious competition. During the same championship, Ibrahim Maïga also obtained a silver medal and Ali Coulibaly the bronze medal, giving Burkina Faso the 6th place out of 36 nations present. In tennis, Meda Joël won the International Open of the Togolese Tennis Federation (FTT). The Burkinabe beat Beninese Monnou Sylvestre in the final of the Open in two sets (6-4, 6-3). This victory earned him 1524 euros and a trophy. In boxing, Mathias Napaongo retained his WPBF belt in the "Super Light" category. He defeated Togolese Roger Tundé by a third round knockout on Monday 26 December in Ouagadougou.

In Log Lift, Iron Biby retained his world championship title on April 2 in Leeds, England. The Burkinabe colossus won his fourth world title lifting a load of 218 kg. The 30-year-old athlete still missed his goal of breaking his own world record. He had established the best mark of the event by lifting 229 kg. He wanted to go to 230 kg. But the Burkinabe remains the strongest man in the world.

Tour du Faso and competitions affected by insecurity

The year 2022 was not entirely rosy. The socio-political situation in Burkina Faso has obviously disrupted sport. Faced with this security crisis, the organizers of major sporting events have been forced to postpone or even cancel competitions. After last year's success, there was no International Cycling Tour of Faso. The 2022 edition, scheduled from November 11 to 20, was a victim of the security situation due to terrorist attacks.

The first edition of the Grand Marathon de Kouritenga, scheduled for October 7-8, 2022, with nearly 400 athletes for a distance of 42.195 km between Koupèla and Pouytenga and back, was also cancelled. In the aftermath of the September 30 coup d'état, the Burkina Faso Professional Football League (LFP) was forced to inform that due to the socio-political situation, six of the eight matches of the third day of League 1 are postponed to a later date. The 27th edition of the Night of Champions, an evening of awards for the best athletes and personalities of the year, initially scheduled for October 22, has been postponed to November 3, again for the same reasons.

At the African level, Burkinabe clubs are still struggling. They have systematically failed in the preliminary rounds of the 2022-2023 CAF interclubs. This is the case of AS Douanes against Real Bamako of Mali in the Confederation Cup, and of Rail Club du Kadiogo (RCK) in the Champions League against FC Saint-Eloi Lupopo of the DRC. At the level of small categories, it does not fly high either. The U20 will not be at the AFCON 2023 in Egypt. The U23, either. As for the local Stallions, they were eliminated by the Ivory Coast during the qualifying rounds for the CHAN 2022 which will take place in Algeria.

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