Ruan Lange returns from Youth Olympic Games with South Africa’s first gymnastics medal

By Blake Linder

“I just came here to enjoy the competition and didn’t even think about winning a medal. To come away with gold is exciting.”

Ruan Lange has returned from the Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) a national hero, having earned a gold medal in the multi-discipline mixed team event as part of Team Simone Biles.

Ruan, who started doing gymnastics at the age of nine, earned his place at the YOG by finishing as the top South African gymnast at the African Gymnastics Championships in May. He was not only the top South African gymnast at the African Champs, but also third overall in the men’s junior section as well as third on the rings, and second on the horizontal bar.

Ruan’s stellar performance at the African Champs subsequently gave him a chance to represent South Africa at the YOG in October. Ruan set off for Buenos Aires on 1 October with hopes of simply enjoying the competition – and never in his wildest dreams expected to win any form of a medal.

“I am not used to competing at big competitions like this,” Ruan said to an International Olympic Committee (IOC) reporter in Argentina. “We don’t have such big venues back home. I really had to get used to it and I was very nervous. There was a lot of pressure on me – especially because I wanted to do so well for the team.”

On each individual apparatus, Ruan was unable to earn a podium finish, coming up against some of the world’s best gymnasts hailing from some of the world’s best gymnastics countries such as Russia, Japan, the USA, and China. His best scores came on the horizontal bar and the vault, which were the two scores that counted towards his team total in the all new multi-discipline mixed team event.

In this event, gymnasts from different disciplines and nations were drawn into 13 teams, each with 12 gymnasts. Ruan found himself alongside some of the top rhythmic and trampoline gymnasts in Team Simone Biles.

When the end of the qualification rounds came and the team totals were tallied, Ruan’s team found themselves on top of the heap. While the gold medal didn’t count towards South Africa’s medal tally, it was the first-ever gymnastics medal South Africa received at a Youth Olympic Games.

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Kenya: Osanjo – Consider Youth Players This Transfer Window

By Tom Osanjo

Welcome back to the home of champions Kenneth Muguna a.k.a Vaite.

Shafik Batambuze, congratulations for your decision to join Gor Mahia, you will never regret that one decision in your football career.

I am happy that we have started early to strengthen the squad in time for the start of the new 2018/2019 season.

The signing of Muguna and Batambuze is a clear indication that Gor Mahia is not only focused on retaining the Kenyan Premier League title but is also building for a better performance in the Caf Champions League.

As we take stock of the concluded season, I am sure the technical bench took notice on the areas that were wanting in the squad and have made the necessary suggestions to the club management on the players they would wish to sign.

Batambuze fits the bill as a perfect replacement for fellow Ugandan Godfrey Walusimbi who left the club mid last season while Muguna will definitely be a key player in our midfield.

We are still waiting to see who will be brought to take up the role left by Meddie Kagere who crossed the border to join Simba of Tanzania.

But while the signings continue, it is also important to look at the youth team and see which young players in the squad can be promoted to the senior team. We have overlooked some of our young players in the youth team only for them to go and shine elsewhere.

I am talking of Cliff Nyakeya for example who is now the best player at Mathare United.

Nyakeya was one of the stars in the Gor Mahia youth team. Instead of him being promoted, he was overlooked. Today we are in a situation where we will have to spend money to get him back. That should never be the case.

It is my suggestion that coach Dylan Kerr and his assistant Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno sit down with the youth team coaches and identify one or two players who can join the senior team.

Beyond that, it is also important that we retain some of our best players. Speculation is rife that captain Harun Shakava, midfielder Francis Kahata and striker Jacques Tuyisenge may be on their way out of the club. While we cannot block a player from seeking greener pastures, the office should burn the midnight oil to keep these players at the club because they are the spine of the team.

And finally, I hope guys you have your United Kingdom visas. Lets meet in Liverpool to cheer K’Ogalo against Everton.

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Ghana: The Ministry Of Youth And Sport Inaugurates C’ttee… For Youth Policy Review

By Dailyguide Africa

The Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Isaac Kwame Asiamah has inaugurated a 10 – member National Technical Committee for the review of the National Youth Policy to engage the youth and other stakeholders in a meaningful partnership to develop appropriate interventions and services for youth empowerment and development.

The Committee will be chaired by Kwesi Evans-Nkum, Director for Education and Training, National Youth Authority (NYA) with nine other members; Rev. Frank Lartey Jnr, Director for Research, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, NYA, Ms. Adjoa Yenyi, representative from UN System – UNFPA, Mr. Alex Bankole William, a representative from the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations and Emmanuel Papa Assan, Guild of Youth Development Practitioners.

The rest are; Ekow Eshun, Ms. Anita Abonyi, Solomon Mensah, Emmanuel Osei and Samuel Asamoah.

Hon. Asiamah, in his address, highlighted on the need to equip the youth with skills to meet the job market in order to contribute significantly to National Development since a greater mass of the country’s population falls within the youthful bracket.

He said his outfit through its apex Agency for Youth development, the (NYA), has resolved to review the existing National Youth Policy in August 2010 and its accompanying action plan to meet the current global and national trends to reflect the current development needs of the Ghanaian youth.

“This will invariably accelerate the socio-economic development and realize the dream of a Ghana Beyond Aid as espoused by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.” he said.

Their Terms of Reference include but not limited to: Have stakeholders’ engagements; Carry out evaluation of the existing Youth Policy to identify a gap analysis report, Develop a concept paper for the review and Establish a National Technical Committee for policy implementation.

The Chairman of the Committee, Kwesi Evans Nkum in his acceptance remarks, said the NYP is an important document that guides and shapes the development of young people adding that, the development of the youth remains a priority as the nation strives to ensure it gets all it wants in respect to socio-economic and other aspects of the country.

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