World Athletes of the Year

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei, Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey and Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir among the finalists

The title of male athlete of the year awarded virtually on December 5 by the International Athletics Federation (World Athletics) will go to one of the following five athletes: the Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei (Long Distance), the American Ryan Crouser (Weight), Swede Mondo Duplantis (Pole Vault), German Johannes Vetter (Javelin) and Norwegian Karsten Warholm (400m hurdles). Cheptegei who broke the world record in the 5,000 m (12: 35.36), 10,000 m (26: 11.00) and the 5 km road (12:51) will bring the hopes of Africa, after the elimination of his compatriot Jacob Kiplimo and Kenyan Timothy Cheruiyot who were among the ten nominees. Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey (5,000m), Dutch Sifan Hassan (middle distance, long distance), Peres Jepchirchir jpgKenyan Peres Jepchirchir (half marathon), Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas (triple jump) and Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah (100 m) are the five finalists for the female athlete of the year trophy. On the other hand, the Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh (half-marathon), the Kenyans Hellen Obiri and Faith Kipyegon who were in the TOP 10 of the nominees were not selected.

With three finalists, Africa has every chance of winning the day.

The residents of AADC Dakar find the track

The athletes of the African Athletics Development Centre (AADC) in Dakar returned to school on Friday, November 20, 2021, after the break imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic. The promotion is made up of eleven (11) athletes from five (5) countries and five Senegalese hopefuls supported by their federation.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Lamine Faty, Director General of the Confederation African Athletics, in the presence of Seydina Omar Diagne (CNOSS), Sara Oualy (FSA) and representatives of CONFEJES and the Ministry of Sports. El Hadji Amadou Dia Ba director of the Centre said the resumption marks a new start for the center with the sights set on the upcoming African Championships in Algeria and the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.

Thus, the objective will be to improve the performances of the athletes and ultimately to obtain four qualified in Tokyo and five podiums in Algeria. Regarding the Olympics, the center already has two qualified, namely the Gambian sprinter Gina Bass and the Burkinabé heptathlete Marthe Koala. Athletes such as the Senegalese Louis Mendy (110m hurdles) and the Burkinabé Bienvenu Sawadogo (400m hurdles) are able to obtain the Japanese visa. "With five athletes, we will have achieved our objectives," said the director of AADDC Dakar. But the main objective is the Paris 2024 Olympics ",

Born from the ashes of the former CIAD and the regional development center, the African athlete development center was established two years ago.

The performance group

1- Bienvenu Sawadogo (400 m Hurdles) Burkina Faso

2- Marthe Koala (Heptathlon) Burkina Faso

3- Germaine Abessolo (200 m) Cameroon

4- Adama Jammeh (100m, 200m) Gambia

5- Alieu Joof (100m, 200m) Gambia

6- Ebrahima Camara (100m, 200m) Gambia

7- Gina Bass (100m, 200m) Gambia

8- Sengan Jobe (100m, 200m) Gambia

9- Sidonie Fiadanantsoa (100m hurdles, 200m)

10- Louis François Mendy (110m Hurdles) Senegal

11- Saguirou Badamassi Niger

Senegalese hopes

Oumar Babou

Mohamadou L. Sakho

Moulaye Sonko

Fatou Gaye

Sangone Kandji

CAA unveils 2021 calendar

The Confederation of African Athletics has released the calendar for the 2021 season. The main events are the senior championships in Algeria (June 1 to 5), the cross-country championships in Togo (March 6, 7), the Diamond league meeting in Rabat, the African circuit and the regional championships.


Athlete of the Year: Eight Africans in the race for the titles

Eight (8) Africans including 5 women and 3 men registered on the list of 10 nominees for the Male World Athlete of the Year and the Female World Athlete of the Year awards who were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of World Athletics.

The nominations reflect the remarkable range of exceptional performances that the sport has witnessed this year, despite the challenges that the global Covid-19 pandemic presented.

WOMEN: Letesenbet Gidey, Ethiopia, set a world record of 14:06.62 over 5000m, was second in the Monaco Diamond League over 5000m;

Ababel Yeshaneh, Ethiopia, broke the world record in the half marathon with 1:04:31, finished fifth at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships 

Peres Jepchirchir, Kenya, won the world half marathon title, twice broke the world half marathon record for a women-only race (1:05:34 and 1:05:16)

 Faith Kipyegon, Kenya, undefeated in five races over all distances, ran world-leading performances over 800m (1:57.68) and 1000m (2:29.15)

Hellen Obiri, Kenya, undefeated in three races over 3000m and 5000m, ran a world-leading 8:22.54 over 3000m

MEN: Joshua Cheptegei, Uganda, broke world records at 5000m (12:35.36), 10,000m (26:11.00) and 5km on the roads (12:51), was fourth at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships on his debut over the distance

Jacob Kiplimo, Uganda, won world half marathon title in a championship record of 58:49, ran a world-leading 7:26.64 over 3000m, the fastest time in the world since 2007

Timothy Cheruiyot, Kenya, ran world-leading 3:28.45 over 1500m, undefeated in three 1500m races

CAA CONTINENTAL TOUR 2020: Noélie Yarigo shines in Yaoundé

The 4th edition of the GRAND PRIX CAA de Yaoundé took place on Saturday, October 17, 2020 at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium. About ten countries took part in this competition organized the day after the easing of barrier measures related to COVID 19.

Noelie Yarigo BeninBeninese Noëlie Yarigo confirmed her good form at the time, easily dominating the double Lap in 2'10'19. Congolese Natacha Ngoye Akamabi flew over the sprint, winning the 100m in 11’86 and the 200m in 23’98.

In the men, Cameroonian Raphael Nguoguele (10''67 in 100m and 21''44 in 200m) and Nigerian Emmanuel Arowolo (10''69 in 100m and 21''39 in 200m) were the main animators of the sprint.

World Athletics Half Marathon Championships: Africa wins the jackpot

The Africans flew over the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships which took place on Saturday, October 17, 2020 in Gdynia (Poland).

We were expecting Joshua Cheptegei but it was another Ugandan, Jacob Kiplimo, who took the victory in 58'49 '', a new national record. The 19-year-old defeated Kenyan Kandie Kibiwott (58:54) who is the holder of the best world performance of the year and Ethiopian Amedework Walelegn (59:08). For his first foray into the discipline, Cheptegei comes in fourth position in 59'21 ''. For the first time in the 28-year history of this event, a Ugandan athlete was sacred.

Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir improved her own world record in an all-female race in 1h 05'16 '' ahead of Kenyan-born German Melat Kejeta, (1h 05'18 '') and Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw (1h 05'19 ").

In an arena where endurance is king, speed has also proven to be a valuable commodity. Ultimately, Peres Jepchirchir needed both to reign supreme in the women's race.

 Peres Jepchirchir

Jepchirchir breaks women-only world record at World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020

In an arena where endurance is king, speed also proved a precious commodity. In the end, Peres Jepchirchir needed both to reign supreme in the women’s race at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships Gdynia 2020 on Saturday (17), powering to gold in 1:05:16, a world record* in a women-only race.

She led home Germany's Melat Yisak Kejeta, who smashed the European women-only record to take silver in 1:05:18, with Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw a close third in 1:05:19.

Joshua Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey in history

Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei (24 years old) and Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey (22 years old) made athletic history by seizing the world records in the men's 10,000m and the women's 5,000m respectively in Valencia ( Spain) on Wednesday October 7, 2020.

10,000m world champion Joshua Cheptegei is living an exceptional 2020. After seizing the world record in the 5,000m on August 14 in Monaco in 12'35''36, the Ugandan once again erased the Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele from the shelves by stealing the 10,000m from him, brought to the incredible time of 26'11''00. Bekele had managed 26'17''53 in 2005 in Brussels.

Cheptegei has confirmed his status as the best long-distance runner of the moment, he who simply aspires to be the best of all time.

“I met everyone's expectations, and I made my dream come true,” slipped the Ugandan shortly after his feat. We're here to write history, and show that athletics is always exciting. You had to give everything. The current situation is difficult for everyone, but these kinds of feats can bring joy to people. "

Previously, the Ethiopian Letensebet Gidey had distinguished herself in a very good way by passing from life to death the world record of the 5,000 m of her compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba, established in 2008 in 14'11''15, with a stopwatch staggering 14'06''62.

The Ethiopian vice-champion of the world in the 10,000m had announced in recent days that she was going to do it, and she did!

The performances of these two new legends prove that the future of athletics is in Africa.

"Kip Keino Classic": Kenyans shine at home

“Kip Keino Classic”, the final stage of the Continental Tour, was flown over by Kenyan world champions Hellen Obiri and Timothy Cheruiyot who won in their favorite discipline (5,000 and 1,500 m) in modest times. Thus Timothy Cheruiyot, dominated the 1500m in 3'34 "31 and the two-time world champion of the 5000m Helen Obiri did the same over 5000m in 15'6" 36.

It is an almost full Kenyan cardboard which we saw in the middle distance with the successes of Béatrice Cheptel (9'29 "05 over 3000 m steeplechase), Ferguson Rotich (1'44" 78 over 800 m), Abraham Kibiwott (8'17 "60 over 3000 m steeplechase) or Paul Tanui (28'6" 90 over 10,000 m). The victory of the Ethiopian Lemlem Hailu over 1,500m in 4'6 ”43 is one of the rare exceptions of the day.

Unlike middle distance, altitude has beneficial effects on sprint events. South African Sinesopho Dambile took the opportunity to win the 200m in 20''44 (+1.2 m / s) ahead of Ivorian Arthur Cissé (20''53).

Nairobi welcomes "Kip Keino Classic"

Nairobi is preparing to host the first World Athletics Continental Tour Meeting on African soil.

“This is an event that is really important, especially for Africa,” says Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei. “It is going to open our sports in the country and most likely in Africa, because since Covid-19, there has not been any major championship in Africa.”

The  meet – named the Kip Keino Classic after distance legend Kipchoge Keino – was initially planned for May but was moved twice to its current date of 3 October.

Nairobi was to host the World Athletics U20 Championships this year but the event was rescheduled because of the corona virus pandemic.  Now, the Continental Tour is giving Athletics Kenya another chance to put on a great show this year.

“We want to organise it bearing in mind that the success of the Continental Tour in Nairobi will also resonate on how Africa can organise events,” says Tuwei.

“It will give us an opportunity to ensure that other events can spring up all over Africa, so that we are also able to have our own series that can help and build athletics on our continent.”

Nairobi was to host the World Athletics U20 Championships this year but the event was rescheduled because of the corona virus pandemic.  Now, the Continental Tour is giving Athletics Kenya another chance to put on a great show this year.

“We want to organise it bearing in mind that the success of the Continental Tour in Nairobi will also resonate on how Africa can organise events,” says Tuwei.

“It will give us an opportunity to ensure that other events can spring up all over Africa, so that we are also able to have our own series that can help and build athletics on our continent.”

There are five core events in the gold meeting series this season – the200m, 3000m steeplechase, triple jump, discus throw and hammer throw for both men and women. The Nairobi meet will also include javelin throw, the 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5000m.The organisers have also included some national events to give local athletes the chance to compete in a season ripped to shreds by the corona virus pandemic.

The meeting will take place at the Nyayo National Stadium, which is newly refurbished to meet the standards of World Athletics competitions.

There will be fewer athletes than initially expected but considering the circumstances, meet director Barnaba Korir is pleased with those who have shown interest in it so far.

After a mostly dormant year in athletics in AfricaTuwei is confident that everything is in place for a brilliant event in October.

“We feel that this is going to open this sport on the continent and we hope that things will work out in such a manner that the athletes get a chance to start competing again within the continent and outside.

“We are ready and we are prepared,” he says. “We want to assure all the athletes who will be coming to take part in the first continental tour in Africa that they will enjoy themselves and they will have a very good competition.”

Helen NGOH for CAA