Our favourite underdog of the Olympics so far – Hamadou Djibo Issaka
There’s always one, and this time it’s the sculler from the Sahara. Six months ago, Hamadou Djibo Issaka was a gardener working in Niamey, with a sideline in swimming. Now he’s champion underdog in the single sculls, finishing last, crossing the line 80 seconds after the winner in the F finals, but to the most amazing crowd support.
The 35-year-old, who arrived in London from landlocked Niger, with only three months of rowing experience and trained for the Olympics in an old fishing dinghy.
When asked about his rowing technique he replied ‘I don’t know any techniques as I have only been rowing for three months. I saw it on TV but hadn’t seen it in real life until I visited Tunisia.’
He has our full respect.