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Being satisfied with the 3rd and 14th Africa U18 and U20 championships, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum, the president of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) intends to use the talents of this competition to prepare the Olympic Games in 2024.
It is a feeling of great satisfaction. We witnessed high-level debates during these five days. African records that were 20 years old were beaten. This augurs good prospects for African athletics. These are a total of 21 broken records. We have also experienced a diversification in the practice of athletics. Ethiopians practiced javelin Throw. Kenyans practiced Discus Throw. Nigerians practiced high jump and won gold medals, which was not the case in the past. And it is to encourage. I am delighted by this initiative which has allowed young Africans aged under 18 and under 20 to have the opportunity to compete. This is the foundation of the African athletics of tomorrow at the international level. This type of competition is of great interest to the next generation. Hence the great importance of always organizing them.
At this level, there is no need to worry. We will form a group called the 2024 generation for the Olympic Games scheduled in Paris. Now is the time to start preparing them. This, so that those who have reported here can reach the Olympic podium for the honor of the African continent. Dambile Sinespo (20'52) in the 200m and Offili Rose Mary (52'27) in the 400m who received the trophies of best performers will receive a scholarship to accompany them until they complete the 2024 generation.
The challenges were material and logistical. But finally, we have combined our intelligences and mobilized the good will of Côte d'Ivoire. Together we have successfully met these challenges.
It is clear that we had flutter. They were at the level of accommodation and reception at the beginning. These shortcomings are not unique to Côte d'Ivoire. In all the competitions of the world, we are suffering from these same failures. What is important is that we finish with a big satisfaction. This is the most important thing to remember.
I would like on behalf of African athletics, to express my thanks to the press for the work done. Because without you, what we do cannot be known to the general public, let alone even the parents of the athletes who let their children come. We want to thank you sincerely for the huge job. We do not have resources to pay you but as Africans it is up to us to work at building the image of our continent. And I rely on your support now and in the future to make it a success together.
Interview conducted by Anicet Zio