Chaos ruin African Senior Athletics Championships

The CAA African Athletics Senior Championships in Douala have received wide spread criticism for their poor organisation PIC.BAA
The CAA African Athletics Senior Championships in Douala have received wide spread criticism for their poor organisation PIC.BAA

The ongoing 23rd CAA African Athletics Senior Championships in Douala, Cameroon, have turned into a chaotic, disorganised affair.

Horrendous management of the championships has seen Kamal Badru Juma, president of Mozambique Athletics Association, who also serves as CAA Southern Region vice president, calling on the CAA leadership under Hamad Kalkaba Malboun to resign. The same situation that is unfolding in Douala took place during the 2018 edition in Asaba, Nigeria. It led to the results from the competition being scrapped off by World Athletics while the last championships, which were hosted by Mauritius, were ruined by harsh weather conditions. The chaotic conditions in Douala also led to some top athletes such as Marie Josée Dominique Ta Lou-Smith (Ivory Coast), Favour Ofili (Nigeria), Rosemary Chukwuma (Nigeria) and Shaun Maswanganyi (South Africa) withdrawing from their races.

Botswana sprint sensation, Letsile Tebogo false-started and was disqualified during the men’s 100m semi-final. Speaking to the media after winning his heat, Tebogo was not too pleased with the officials and administrators for the scheduling and run times for the races on day one of the competition. “We will see about the final because there is a lot of disorganised stuff here. Maybe I am going to run or maybe I will not run. You do warm up and wait for an hour to be called but we know that time is money in athletics. That is why I did not even put all my effort during the heat. My focus is on the Paris 2024 Olympics not the Africa Senior Championships,” Tebogo said. Meanwhile, team Botswana manager, Kenneth Kikwe, told SportMonitor that the competition was not up to standard and has challenges. “I am not sure why things are happening the way they are happening. Maybe we are just too relaxed when it comes to standards. The West and North African countries have monopolised every sporting code and when it comes to bids, they support each other, regardless of their capabilities,” he said.

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