This is first article for African Athletics Championships, from our Kenyan correspondent, Justin Lagat. The African Athletics Championships started with some frustrating moments for teams traveling to Asaba, Nigeria. Many were caught in Lagos airport and spent 24-48 hours. Here’s Justin’s comments on the Championships.
Yesterday, I drove in a Lyft with a young man from the Republic of Guinea. He told me that one of the big issues in Africa is the lack of terrestrial TV that can cover major events like the African Championships.
In the following article by Justin Lagat, one senses our friend’s frustration at trying to watch the meet on streaming, and how lacking the coverage is for anyone who cares about athletics. The continent of Africa is one of the true bastions of our sport. It is also the future of our sport, and sport, like media and culture, will continue to evolve in Africa only with a united voice from consumers and fans.
There have been complaints from both athletes and foreign journalists on the organization of the African senior athletics championships with Tanzania being one country that has already pulled out of the event. However, in the end, the champions will have been made at the end of the championships regardless of the challenges that they have been going through in getting to Asaba. Memories of the delayed flights will not last longer than the continental titles.
Amid the frustrations, Kenyan fans got some reprieve on the second day of the championships when Hellen Obiri won gold in the women’s 5000m event while Emmanuel Korir and Alphas Kishoyan advanced quite comfortably to the finals in the men’s 800m and 400m races respectively. Ethiopian athletes who got to a good start by taking the first two positions in the men’s 10,000m on the first day had Senbere Teferi taking the silver and Meskerem Mamo taking the bronze medal.
LATEST: @Athletics_Kenya ðŸ‡°ðŸ‡ª threatens to quit the Africa Senior Athletics Championships. Team has been held at Lagos domestic airport with no flights to Asaba since midday (local time) yesterday. So many other teams including Uganda ðŸ‡ºðŸ‡¬ affected. #Asaba2018 pic.twitter.com/h5LmcGLwXp
— Darren Allan Kyeyune (@AllanDarren) July 31, 2018
The best option for fans in Kenya to follow the African Senior Athletics championships in Asaba is through a live streaming video on Facebook. The video I am getting access to is often getting interrupted so many times that anyone can easily loose hope of trying to continue sitting and waiting for it to go live again.
But, perhaps I have been watching a broadcast meant for some particular audience and I ought not to complain for watching the wrong channel. Try and imagine, for example, how a Kenyan fan would feel having waited patiently for the women’s 5000m final race to start. Then the live stream shows the nine athletes toeing the start line, and it takes quite long before the race finally gets underway. The live stream dwelt more on the athletes warming up and then gave the audience a total black out when the race was finally started. The screen itself neither showed the stop watch nor the number of laps remaining in the race and I could not even tell if the athletes took two or three laps before the cameras shifted to the long jump event. After a considerably long time that I even wondered whether the race was still on, the screen finally showed a bell being rung and one athlete detached and running alone on track, I could only guess she was leading. The commentator kept calling the runner “Obori” as she came to claim the gold medal.
Africa Athletics Championships program for day 2, 3, 4 and 5 pic.twitter.com/JZ0dOVbyhy
— CAAASABA2018 (@caaasaba2018) August 2, 2018
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