Sports That Sudan Loves
The mix of ethnicities has produced a number of remarkable athletes, and the influence from the rest of the world has allowed them to compete on the global stage. Though Sudan has experienced a number of problems, there are sporting events, tournaments, and even individual clubs that give it hope for a better future. Besides the standard sport activities, a lot of attention has been given to horse racing which is why the best bookmakers offers for Cheltenham are becoming more and more popular. Here are some of the most famous sports disciplines in Sudan.
Believe it or not, but Sudan was one of the four founding nations of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, which only had three nations competing in 1957 when it started since South Africa backed out at the last minute due to apartheid. It was held in Khartoum. In 1963, Sudan lost in the finals to Ghana, though it briefly bounced back in 1970.
Athletics and the Civil War
North Sudan did its best to suppress the athletes from South Sudan in international competitions. In fact, during the Olympics in 1972, most of the Sudanese athletes came from North Sudan. Whether it is running, judo, or swimming, you will find the Sudanese there. There are two pieces of trivia you might enjoy. Sudan never participated in any Winter Olympics and the only Olympic medal they’ve ever gotten was won by Ismail Ahmed Ismail, who came second in the men’s 800 meters in 2008.
Wrestling has been common in African villages for as long as anyone can remember, and Sudan is no exception. Nubian communities have been practicing this martial art for more than 3000 years. Winners are treated like celebrities and there is a whole industry surrounding wrestling now. The sponsorships can gather as much as several million dollars in Africa, though we are not sure how much of that money is invested in wrestling in Sudan.
There are several Sudanese athletes that have made a name for themselves in basketball, making their country proud. You may have heard of, like Luol Deng, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, or Manute Bol and Deng Gai. Basketball has done a lot in uniting the different communities of South Sudan, as basketball tournaments are held regularly in Juba. These tournaments are played for fun, so there is no money in it for the players or the coaches.
Boxing and Kickboxing
In spite of having no real gyms, young people of Sudan enjoy practicing two internationally acclaimed martial arts that became sports. The equipment is almost non-existent and the boxing rings are crude and usually outside. Does that stop young athletes from practicing? Of course not! They love these sports and will continue to exercise until better conditions appear.
The Love of Sports
Sudan has seen its fair share of conflicts. The Civil War did a number on the relationship between people and different communities have different cultures, which often leads to misunderstandings and animosity. The wonderful thing about these sports, especially in South Sudan, is that they unite the people. The love of the game and the competition often leaves the Sudanese happy and approachable, which is why several formal and informal organizations promote different sports as a means to bring Sudan together. So far it is working and we can only hope that this will be the case in the future as well.