The South Sudan chess team arrived back into the country on Monday afternoon after taking part in the 43rd Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia, and winning the gold in group E.
The team included five players and the president of the South Sudan chess Federation Jada Albert Modi.
“The gold medal is a gift to the people of South Sudan who suffer a lot, we can bring happiness to their hearts,” said Rehan Deng Cypriano, the captain of the team.
Deng added that participating in Batumi was good though the team arrived late for the tournament.
“The participation in Batumi was good even though we arrived late at the Olympiad. We lost two matches to Ireland and Scotland because of fatigue, but in the nine rounds South Sudan won four games and lost three and that’s what made South Sudan team to get the gold medal.”
The Captain also confirmed that they will participate in the 2020 Olympiad in Russia.
“With this gold medal, South Sudan will be presented at the Russia 2020 Olympiad” Cypriano explained.
Despite the achievement made by the team, Rehan Deng said they face challenges in term of support financially and lack of a coach for the team.
“Our main challenge is financial, we lack the funds to support the team, for example, the tickets were received just two days before the start of the tournament. We also lack a coach who can give us the better skills to improve on what we have learned.”
The Chess Olympiad is held every two years with the participation of 185 countries divided into groups and each group has 36 countries.