Recently in African Athletics Category

Lilesa_FeyisaH-Bogota18.jpgFeyisa Lelisa, 2018 Bogata Half Marathon, photo by

A thought from RunBlogRun: Feyisa Lelisa is one of my heroes. He should be one of yours. A member of the Oromo, an ethnic minority in Ethiopia, Lelisa endangered himself and his family, by signaling his support for the Oromo in Rio, in front of a world audience. Lelisa is living in U.S., with his family. Now, he may be able to go home. How many of us have had to leave for homes because of concerns on safety of ourselves and our family?

ADDIS ABABA (ETH): AFP informs that in an open letter, Ethiopia has asked marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa, silver medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games and in exile in the United States, to return to his country But since April, and for the first time in the history of Ethiopia, the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, is an Oromo. Since coming to power, he has taken many steps to try to ease ethnic tensions that have lasted for many years. Abiy Ahmed had already proposed to Fiyesa Lilesa to return to Ethiopia. On Tuesday, it was the Olympic Committee and the Athletics Federation who co-signed an open letter asking the marathoner to resume his career in and for his country.

Lilesa_FeyisaFV-Rio16.jpgFeyisa Lelisa, Rio 2016 Olympics, photo by

Semenya_Caster-Oslo18.jpgCaster Semenya, photo by

Chepkoech_BeatriceFV-Monaco18.jpgBeatrice Chepkoech, photo by

ElBakkali_Soufiane-Monaco18.jpgSoufianne El Bakkali, photo by

Semenya in 3 events, also WR holder Chepkoech
DAKAR (SEN): World and Olympic winners and medalists like Caster Semenya (400, 800 and mixed relay), Beatrice Chepkoech, Hellen Obiri, Conseslus Kipruto (with Soufian El Bakkali), Elijah Manangoi and Nijel Amos (with Emmanuel Korir in the 800 m) are among 77 athletes named by the African Confederation for the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, according to various media reports. South Africa will have the largest contingent on the team with 20 compared to 16 from Nigeria and nine from Kenya. Selection is based on results of African Championships. In sprints Akani Simbine and Arthur Cisse are in the 100 m and Ncincilili Titi and Divine Oduduru in the 200 m. In long jump is Rushwal Samaai with Yahya Berrabah. Julius Yego is the star in throws and South Africa is building the 4x100 m team. Ivory Coast World medalist Marie Josee Ta Lou is selected for both 100 and 200 m, Nigeria for 4x100 m. In the 1500 m Winnie Chebet and Rababe Arafi should represent Africa. The top name in technical events is long jumper Esa Brume.
Amos_NijelR-Monaco18.jpgNijel Amos, photo by
Doubles for Semenya and Ta Lou
ASABA (NGR, Aug 5): Kenya was the top country of 21st edition of the African Championships with 11 gold medals. In the women's steeplechase World record holder Beatrice Chepkoech clocked 8:59.88 without any pacemaking.Celliphine Chespol was a distant second nearly 10 seconds back, clocking 9:09.61, with Fancy Cherono taking bronze. Caster Semenya won after 400 m also the 800 m 1:56.06 over Francine Nyionsaba 1:57.97 and Habitam Alemu 1:58.86. In the men's 5000m it was Edward Zakayo, who as 16-year-old emerged prominently on the scene after winning the world U20 title over the distance last month, to take centre stage in 13:48.58 win. Second Getaneh Molla 13:49.06 and third Yemane Haileselassie 13:49.58 to capture one of Eritrea's two medals at these championships. World champion Elijah Manangoi clocked 3.35.20 to win the 1500 m over Timothy Cheruiyot 3:35.94 and Ronald Musagala of Uganda 3:36.41. Meanwhile on the infield, 2015 world javelin throw champion Julius Yego won his specialty with a second round 77.34 effort. Kenyan quartet of Aron Koech, Alphas Kishoyian, Jared Momanyi and Emmanuel Korir brought the curtain down on Asaba 2018 with victory in the 4x400m relay in 3:00.92, a championships record. South Africa was second in 3:03.50 followed by host Nigeria in 3:04.88. Kenya's medal haul began in the early morning hours with when Samuel Gathimba prevailed in the 20km race walk, clocking 1:25:14 to beat South African Lebogang Shange by 11 seconds. Ncincihli Titi took a convincing victory in the men's 200m in 20.46 with Nigeria's Oduduru Ejowvokoghene edging Luxolo Adams to prevent a South African 1-2. Both clocked 20.60. On the infield, Ischke Senekal took top honours in the shot put reaching 17.24m to win. Nigeria's gold medal total was bolstered by Glory Nathaniel who won the host's first title of the day, taking the 400m hurdles by more than a second in 55.43. Grace Anigbata won the triple jump with a 14.02m leap in the second round, before Nigeria also claimed the penultimate event, the women's 4x400m relay, prompting the day's loudest roar from the nearly-packed house in 3:31:17. Marie Josee Talou completed the sprint double with 22.50 win in the 200 m. Odile Ahouanwanou of Benin scored an upset victory in the heptathlon, tallying 5999 points to beat defending champion Marthe Yasmine Koala of Burkina Faso by 32 points. Erika Nonhlanhla Seyama of Swaziland took the women's high jump at 1.83m. Yamjaleye Beletew Mitiku opened the day with a surprise victory in the women's 20km race walk, defeating favourite Grace Wanjiru of Kenya by more than four minutes in 1:31:46. Based on IAAF report.


A post shared by Caster Semenya (@castersemenya800m) on

Semenya_Caster-Oslo18.jpgCaster Semenya won the 400m at African Championships, photo by

Amos_NijelR-Monaco18.jpgNijel Amos just won the 800m at the African Champs, photo by

Kipruto_ConseslusFV1-WorCH17.jpgConseslus Kipruto, Soufianne El Bakkali, same as it ever was, photo by

Semenya 49.96, Amos beats Korir, Kipruto beats El Bakkali
ASABA (NGR, Aug 3): Olympic winner Caster Semenya improved to 49.96 national record when winning the 400 m during 3rd day of African Championships in Nigeria. Second Christine Botlogetwe from Botswana 51.16 and third Nigerian Ajayi Yinka 51.34. Nijel Amos in 1:45.20 beat World leader Emmanuel Korir in the 800 m 1:45.65 with Moroccan Mostafa Smaili getting bronze 1:45.90. Fourth Antoine Gakeme 1:45.91 and only fifth Ferguson Rotich 1:46.23. Another top mark in men´s 400 m hurdles as Algerian Abdelmalik Lahoulou clocked national record 48.47 to win. Baboloki Thebe got the 400 m for Botswana in 44.81 over Thapelo Phora from South Africa 45.14 and home Chidi Okezie 45.65. World champion Conseslus Kipruto in 8:26.38 beat in steeple Moroccan World leader Soufiane El Bakkali 8:28.01, bronze for Ethiopian Getnet Wale 8:30.87. Kenyan gold in women 1500 m as Winnie Chebet achieved 4:14.02 over Moroccans Rababe Arafi 4:14.12 and Malika Akkaoui 4:14.17. Three more gold medals for home Nigeria. Ese Brume leaped to 683 (+0.5) in long jump, Chioma Onyekwere 58.09 in discus and 4x100 m team in 43.77 over Ivory Coast 44.40. South Africa got men´s 4x100 in 38.25 ahead of Nigeria 38.74 and Ivory Coast 38.92. Algerian Larbi Bourrada scored 8101 points to win the decathlon.

Bob Ramsak is in Asaba, Nigeria covering the African Athletics Championships. Bob is a long time keen observer of our sport, world traveler and friend. If you have read the IAAF website over the past two decades, you have seen his fine and thoughtful work. Bob looks at each event with eyes and heart open for a new experience.

His writings on the African Athletics Championships give us an intimate view of these continental championships. We thank him and the IAAF.

DSC_1544.jpgJemal Yimer, after setting WR for Half Marathon debut, RAK Half Marathon, February 9, 2018, photo by Brian Eder/RunBlogRun
Yimer with first gold medal
ASABA (NGR, Aug 1): First gold medal at African Championships was won by Ethiopian Jemal Yimer in the 10 000 m with 29:08.01 ahead of team-mate Andumlak Belihu 29:11.09. Bronze for Ugandan Timothy Toroitich 29:11.87 with top Kenyan Vincent Kipsang fourth 29:14.52. Kenyans flew into Asaba only on the day of the competition. In 100 m heats fastest times by Akani Simbine 10.30 (-0.8) and Marie Josee Ta Lou 11.25 (+0.4). Rest of the events of the first day were moved to other days.
DSC_1551.jpgJemal Yimer, after his WR half marathon debut, RAK Half Marathon, February 9, 2018, photo by Brian Eder/RunBlogRun

ElBakkali_Soufiane-Monaco18.jpgSoufianne El Bakkali ran WL of 7:58.15 for the steeplechase in Monaco on July 20, 2018, photo by

ASABA (NGR): Morocco is sending a team of 22 athletes to the African championships led by steeplechase world silver medallist Soufiane El Bakkali who ran a World lead in Monaco (7:58.15) and is the favourite for the win. Eight of the athletes (Smaili, Kaazouzi, Bouqantar, Essalhi, El Bakkali, Berrabah, Arafi and Akkaoui) were medallists at the Mediterranean Games last month in Tarragona but the runners will face a stronger challenge against the East African representatives in Nigeria.

Kipruto_Conseslus-Monaco18.jpgConseslus Kipruto, photo by

NAIROBI (KEN): World and Olympic steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto says he will be ready for the African Championships despite his back problems in recent races. Speaking ahead of the event he told Xinhua: "I love being low-key. You will see me when you will see me. I will put all of my effort in there. I'm ready for it. It has not been easy and this is purely down to my own making. I have run the best time this season at in Rome, but I can do better and winning the Africa title is one thing that inspires me. It is a medal I have not touched."

Team Kenya stuck in Lagos

A post shared by conseslus kipruto Athlete🥇🥇🥈🥈 (@consesluskip) on

ASABA (NGR): The 21st edition of the African Athletics Championships is starting on Wednesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba in Nigeria. Twenty-nine years after holding this event in Lagos, when they finished top nation, the hosts are eager to replicate their feat. Nigeria last topped the medal table three editions ago, at Porto Novo in Benin in 2012, but since then South Africa have taken over. Among the guests also IAAF President Sebastian Coe. Top names include Caster Semenya, Luvo Manyonga, Beatrice Chepkoech, Conseslus Kipruto, Elijah Manangoi, Blessing Okagbare, Akani Simbine, Marie-Josee Ta Lou.
ASABA (NGR): Due to some organising problems it was decided to change day one time table for round one of the 100m events, Men and Women and the 10000m Men final event. There will be a reschedule of the rest of the program to sit into the remaining four days. Informs Carole Fuchs.
ASABA (NGR): Just one day before the scheduled start of the African Athletics Championships, there were reports of more than 400 athletes from several countries being stranded today at Lagos airport awaiting a delayed connection to the host venue of Asaba. Leslie Koromo of Africa Global Media was among those writing about the chaos on social media. reported there were 80 Kenyan athletes at the airport. Kenyan athletes left Lagos for Asaba on Wednesday morning.
ASABA (NGR): The Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) has revealed plans to begin a series of one-day meetings on the continent. A trial event was held in Asaba, Nigeria, earlier this month, Athletics Africa reports.

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