Gambian wrestler drowns crossing Mediterranean to Europe….

Two people wrestling at a tournament in Senegal - 2009

A popular Gambian wrestler has drowned while crossing the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, his coach says. Ali Mbengu, known to his fans as “Mille Franc”, was on a boat travelling from Libya to Italy when it capsized last Friday, Pateh Nying said. A Gambia Wrestling Federation spokesman told the AFP news agency the 22-year-old was one of the most disciplined wrestlers in the country. The sport is hugely popular in The Gambia and neighbouring Senegal. Last month, the goalkeeper of the Gambian women’s football team died in similar circumstances. Many of the undocumented migrants who arrive in Italy are Gambians. Mille Franc, meaning “a thousand francs”, made his debut in early 2012, working under Mr Nying at the Club Serrekunda Gome Saboppa in the outskirts of the capital, Banjul, AFP reports.

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