They are almost here, The 17th Senior Africa Athletics Championships in Nairobi. The games will run on the weekend from the 28th of July to the 1st of August at Nyayo Stadium. With most of Kenya’s traditional rivals choosing to send full strength squads, this will be a unique opportunity for Kenyans to see first hand the best middle and long distance runners in the world doing what they do best.
Pity then there has been hardly much hullabaloo relating to the event itself then. Aside from the occasional newspaper advert, there has only been the official launch of the tourney mascot. Two weeks to the event and KBC, a listed sponsor on the website, are being very silent on live coverage. In fact, the thing that has made these games so visible is the fact that nobody has been able to use the Nyayo Stadium venue.
Anyways that aside, it looks like Nairobi will be ready to host the biggest Athletics event5 since the 1987 All Africa Games. However, there will be some big name absentees particularly in the 800 metres where South African Caster Semenya and Sudan’s Abdi Kaki will be missing in action. Nevertheless, there will be World and Olympic Champions featuring in all the track events from 800m onwards.
The question remains will Kenyans come out in numbers to support our athletes, or will other things take priority. After all, unlike with the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, quality is NOT an excuse.