Togo at the
2004 Summer Olympics
Flag of Togo.svg
IOC codeTOG
NOCComité National Olympique Togolais
in Athens
Competitors3 in 2 sports
Flag bearer Jan Sekpona
Medals
Gold
0
Silver
0
Bronze
0
Total
0
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)

Togo competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. The country's participation at Athens marked its seventh appearance in the Summer Olympics since its debut at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, West Germany. The delegation included two track and field athletes and a single canoeist; Jan Sekpona in the men's 800 metres, Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni in the women's 400 metres, and Benjamin Boukpeti in the men's K-1. Both Sekpona and Thiébaud-Kangni were eliminated in the first round of their competitions, while Boukpeti progressed to the semi-finals.

Background

Togo participated in seven Summer Olympics between its debut at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, West Germany, and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The only occasions in that period which they did not attend was at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, and the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union.[1] On both occasions, it was because they had joined with international boycotts of the events. In 1976, they joined with other African nations in a boycott following the inclusion of the New Zealand team at the Games despite the breach of the international sports boycott of South Africa by the nation's rugby union team shortly prior.[2] In 1980, Togo joined with the United States led boycott over the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan during the Soviet–Afghan War.[3][4]

As of 2004, the highest number of Togolese participating at any one Games was seven at the nation's debut games in 1972. As of the 2004 Games, Togo had not yet won a medal. The first medal was won by Benjamin Boukpeti at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.[1]

The Togolese team for the 2004 Athens Games featured canoeist Boukpeti competing in the men's K-1. This was his debut at an Olympic Games, although he would later return for both the 2008 and 2012 Games.[5] Boukpeti had competed for France as a junior, but switched allegiance in adulthood to Togo since his father was born there. Boukpeti had only ever visited the country once, as a child. Boukpeti had changed his national allegiance in order to make Olympic qualification easier.[6] He was the only competitor for an African national at the 2004 Games in the events held at the Deodoro Olympic Whitewater Stadium.[7]

In athletics, Togo entered one male and one female athlete. Jan Sekpona made his only Olympic appearance, competing in the men's 800 metres,[8] and Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni made the first of two Olympic appearances for Togo, in the women's 400 metres.[9] The two runners each qualified for the 2004 Games through the use of wildcard places, since their season best time fell outside of the "B" qualifying standards.[10][11][12] Sekpona was Togo's flag bearer during the opening ceremony.[13]

Athletics

Main article: Athletics at the 2004 Summer Olympics

Jan Sekpona competed in the men's 800 metres on 25 August in the third heat. He finished in one minute and 54.25 seconds, resulting in him finishing last of the eight competitors in the heat, behind Bosnia and Herzegovina's Jasmin Salihović (one minute and 49.59 seconds). The top two athletes automatically qualified for the following round, along with Jean-Patrick Nduwimana from Burundi (one minute and 45.38 seconds) and Brazil's Osmar dos Santos (one minute and 45.90 seconds), who each qualified as some of the fastest runners-up across all heats. Sekpona did not advance and was eliminated from Olympic competition after the first heat.[14]

The sole female Togolese athlete at the 2004 Games, Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni, competed in the 400 metres. She ran in the fifth heat on 21 August, finishing in a time of 52.87 seconds in seventh position. This was only ahead of Sri Lanka's Damayanthi Dharsha (54.58 seconds), but was outside the time of Mireille Nguimgo from Cameroon (51.90 seconds), who was the slowest qualifier from the heat. Thiébaud-Kangni did not progress to the following round.[15]

Key
Track & Road events
Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Jan Sekpona Men's 800 m 1:54.25 8 Did not advance
Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni Women's 400 m 52.87 7 Did not advance

Canoeing

Main article: Canoeing at the 2004 Summer Olympics

The sole Togolese canoeist, Benjamin Boukpeti competed in the men's K-1 competition. He competed in the qualifying round on 19 August, finishing in 9th place during the first run with a time of 96.99 seconds. He finished his second run in 101.93 seconds, placing him in 21st place. This gave him an overall total of 198.92 seconds, which put him in 15th place. Since the top 20 finishers qualified for the semi-final, Boukpeti made his way into the next round.[16] There was a single run for the semi-final on 20 August, with Boukpeti's time of 102.42 seconds resulting in him finishing in 18th position out of the 20 canoeists. This was ahead of Pierpaolo Ferrazzi of Italy (103.07 seconds) and Switzerland's Michael Kurt (103.20 seconds). Only the top ten competitors qualified for the final, ending Boukpeti's competition.[17]

Slalom
Athlete Event Preliminary Semifinal Final
Run 1 Rank Run 2 Rank Total Rank Time Rank Time Rank Total Rank
Benjamin Boukpeti Men's K-1 96.99 9 101.93 21 198.92 15 Q 102.42 18 Did not advance

Notes

  1. ^ a b "Togo". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  2. ^ Grasso, Mallon & Heijmans 2015, p. lxxv.
  3. ^ Smith, Terence (20 January 1980). "The President Said Nyet". New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  4. ^ Grasso, Mallon & Heijmans 2015, p. lxxii.
  5. ^ "Benjamin Boukpeti". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  6. ^ Dimond, A (12 August 2008). "Benjamin Boukpeti the Epitome of the Olympic Spirit?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Benjamin Boukpeti". Olympic.org. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Jan Sekpona". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  10. ^ "IAAF Games of the XXX Olympiad – Athens 2004 Entry Standards". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Jan Sekpona". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni". International Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  13. ^ "2004 Athens: Flag Bearers for the Opening Ceremony". Olympics. 13 August 2004. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  14. ^ "Athletics at the 2004 Athina Summer Games: Men's 800 metres Round One". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Athletics at the 2004 Athina Summer Games: Women's 400 metres Round One". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Canoeing at the 2004 Athina Summer Games: Men's Kayak Singles, Slalom Qualifying". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  17. ^ "Canoeing at the 2004 Athina Summer Games: Men's Kayak Singles, Slalom Semi-Finals". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2016.

References

  • Grasso, John; Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (2015). Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement (5th ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-4859-5.