There must be something in the water, or some super fruit the rest of the world doesn’t get, because Africa puts out a high number of award-winning professional athletes relative to the rest of the world. Here are 10 of Africa’s top athletes:
- Montsho Amantle: The 400- meter world Champion represented her country Botswana in 2004 and 2008 Olympics and in 2010 she won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games; making her the first person from her country to do so. The World Athletics Championship in Daegu, South Korea, Amantle went on to win the 400 meter sprint.
- Charl Schartzel: The Johannesburg golfer is part of an impressive list of professional South African golfers. But this ambitious player began his career at the age of 18, he will forever be remembered for his remarkable two-stroke comeback win at Augusta in 2011, where he beat British sweetheart Roy Mcllroy.
- Samuel Peters: The Nigerian-born boxer is finally putting Africa on the map in a sport for which the continent has otherwise gone mostly unrecognized. Peters, aka: The Nightmare”, is the only African to be crowned a boxing heavyweight Champion. He was named interim World Boxing Council Champion in 2007 after Oleg Maskev’s withdrawal. A year later, Peters won the official crown.
- Oscar Pistorius: This South African is an incredible story of determination. The double amputee competed in the 2012 London Olympics with the aid of a carbon fiber prosthetic called cheetah flex-foot. Pistorius holds the record in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter sport class T44. The athlete also earned several Paralympics medals including gold medals from the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics.
- Yaya Toure: This Ivorian was a key player in Barcelona’s amazing 2009 soccer team. He helped the team win the unprecedented treble. In 2010, Toure became a player in Manchester City; a decision that gained Barcelona 24million pounds. He also scored the winning goal in the FA Cup semi finals during his very first season and also helped his team win its first league title in 44 years.
- Ahmed Hassan: Footballer Hassan has broken an impressive number of international records. He has played in eight different African Cup of Nations tournaments. He first played for the Pharaohs in 1995; he scored a long-range goal in the 1998 finals against South Africa, pushing Egypt into winning its fourth title, and was named the Egyptian captain in 2006. The Egyptians succeeded in winning two more editions with Ahmed as captain.
- Kenenisa Bekele: Ethiopian long-distance runner Bekele is a legend. He holds the title of 5,000-meter and 1,000-meter World Champion plus he’s the defending Olympic Champion in both areas. Many regard Bekele as the best long-distance runner in history.
- Samuel Eto’o: In 2009, the Cameroonian footballer moved to Inter Milan and took home a trio of awards: Seria A, Copa Italia and UEFA Champions League. Eto’o stunned fans when he took a spot with Russian side Anzhi Machakala, accepting a salary of 20-million euros a year after tax, making him the highest-paid sports professional. Eto’o has played in three World Cups and seven African Cup of Nations.
- Didier Drogba: Ivorian footballer Drogba is known almost as well for his sports achievements as he is for his philanthropy. The athlete donated all three million pounds he received from an advertising deal to build a hospital in his country. Drogba helped Marseille reach the UEFA Cup finals in 2004, he helped the London club win three Premier League crowns and four FA Cup titles, and his final kick for the team earned them the title of European Champions in 2011.
- Haile Gebrselassie: Gebrselassie has won almost any long distance title you can list including two consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 1000-meter event. But more than an athlete, he’s a sports personality, having starred in a Hollywood movie documenting his rise to fame.
Article by afkinsider.com