The major sports that are played in Madagascar are soccer, boxing, track and field, judo, women's basketball and women's tennis. These six sports make up the country's amateur-based competition system. In the second half of the 20th century, Madagascar began to appear in national and international competitions, primarily for track and field.
Malagasy athletes have excelled in women's tennis with Dally and Natacha Randriantefy, two sisters who have competed in events like the U.S. Open. As a nation, the country has appeared in the Olympics since the 1964 Tokyo games, typically sending a small number of athletes. Madagascar has also appeared in other national and international events, including the African Games and the World Cup of Athletics. Both of these events focus on track and field.
One event that Madagascar has yet to qualify for is the World Cup for soccer. The closest that this nation has ever come was in 1985, when Madagascar came within a few penalty kicks of beating Egypt in the qualifying finals. In the 2014 qualifying leg, Madagascar was defeated by Equatorial Guinea 3-2 on aggregate and failed to qualify for the World Cup once again. Some notable Malagasy soccer players include Mamisoa Razafindrakoto and Eric Rabesandratana.