They received honorary distinctions awarded on an exceptional basis by the President of the Republic, following the medals won at the end of the 16th African Championships organized by Cameroon from July 16 to 18.
They were a total of 16 athletes who won medals at the end of the 16th African Sambo Championships which took place at the multipurpose sports palace from July 16 to 18. These metals came in 8 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze. These Sambo athletes had each returned to the family in the usual occupations without forgetting the training for future deadlines, quietly. And suddenly, the information fell. The medal-winning Sambistes of the last African Championships in Yaoundé will receive decorations. Some athletes almost thought it was just a rumour. But, the press release signed by the Minister of Sports, Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi of August 09, 2022 dispelled all skepticism: “Solemn ceremony for the presentation of honorary distinctions awarded on an exceptional basis by the President of the Republic to the Indomitable Lions of Sambo, which occupied the first place at the end of the 16th African Championships organized by Cameroon from July 16 to 18, 2022”.
They were all present yesterday, August 10, 2022 at the multipurpose Sports Palace, these Sambists, accompanied by their leaders, headed by François Mbassi, the president of the Cameroonian Federation of Nambudo and Sambo, the technical and medical supervisors. All received decorations ranging from Knight of the Order of Valor for François Mbassi, to Knight of the Cameroonian Order of Merit for Albert Ateba Koungou, vice-president of the Cameroonian Federation of Nambudo and Sambo, president of the national league of Sambo and Knight of the Order of Sports Merit for athletes.
These decorations were hung on the chests of each by the Minister of Sports, after the declaration of use, under the applause and ululations of the members of the families and friends of the recipients. "The appreciation by the very high hierarchy of the vitality and the always affirmed liveliness of the national sports movement is a strong signal which allows it to nourish hopes for an ever more ambitious, more fruitful, ever more victorious and more glorious (…) This tribute obviously, incidentally, eminently reflects on our three athletes who recently won medals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, as much as our wishes for full success and admirable performances accompany the Cameroon Team currently participating in the Games of the Islamic Solidarity in Konya, Turkey and who have already garnered, according to the latest count, two medals”, said Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi.
"Sambo has been used to raise the flag of Cameroon eight times, to the rhythm of the national anthem of Cameroon"
And François Mbassi to recall a fact by throwing a spade at football: “Who would have thought, in two days of competition. Sambo, an embryonic discipline, a few years ago, was used to raise the flag of Cameroon eight times, to the rhythm of the national anthem of Cameroon which was solemnly sung here to bring out patriotism and national pride in the same way than football and other disciplines. Moreover, when football wins, we sing the national anthem only once. Well done, Sambists! ».
By evoking the history of this discipline in Cameroon, which has barely a decade of existence and practice. Like a train leaving the station for a better destination than before and elsewhere, as noted by the president of this Federation, Sambo Cameroon came out of its cradle in 2011 in Cameroon to embark on the fullness of its age. Today, we have World Champions and this decorations ceremony is the consecration, the hologram of everything that has happened for more than a decade.
And if we stick to our information drawn from a good source, these decorations for the medalists were accompanied by bonuses received by the athletes well before the ceremony. The official reminder scale is 3.000.000 FCfa to reward the athlete who returns from competition with a gold medal, 2.000.000 FCfa for the silver medal and 1.000.000 FCfa for the bronze medal. Of course, from these amounts, 11% of taxes are deducted. It's already a good thing for what happened with the Sambistes. Except that there are other athletes in other disciplines, having garnered medals at the international level, who are still waiting for the same attention.