A popular Gambian wrestler, Ali Mbegu, has drowned while crossing the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, his coach says.
Known to his fans as “Mille Franc”, Ali 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, Fatim Jawara, died in similar circumstances.
Many of the undocumented migrants who arrive in Italy are Gambians.
The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has been accused of intimidating the opposition – charges he denies.