Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nairobi 2010 competing with Barcelona

Even after criticism from the public for a slowed ground preparation, the Athletic Kenya has finally cleaned the hands on preparation and changed outfits to welcome Africa to Nairobi.
Over 800 strong athletes have landed in Nairobi hoping to shine on Africa’s premier’s track and field championship for the Senior Africa Championship from Wednesday to Saturday.

The party is due to be opened by President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya. This is the the biggest athletic party in Kenya in 23 years - since the 1987 All Africa Games.

The roads have been secured, the venue renovated and the hotels are in perfect state as Africa seeks to overshadow Europe, who are also staging their championship in Barcelona to select the squad that will fly the African flag at the World Cup in Athletics set for Split City in Croatia in September.

Confederation of Africa Athletics (CAA) has confirmed that at least 165 countries and regions will be able to watch the championship live from Nairobi as they up their game to improve on the broadcast signal.

This will bring in better revenue for the financial stricken confederation compared to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, which only had the signal broadcast in 50 countries worldwide.
Four gold medallists are present in Nairobi to defend their titles, with three-time champion Chris Harmse looking for another winning chance in the men’s hammer throw and Elizna Naude arriving in the Kenyan capital as the big favourite to win the women’s discus throw.
Commonwealth 400m hurdles champion LJ van Zyl, however, will face a strong challenge from compatriot Cornel Fredericks, the national champion, and African record holder Sunette Viljoen will have her hands full against team- mate Justine Robbeson, who has fully recovered from elbow surgery.

Africa, which boost of several top athletes is in a cut throat competition with Europe for the audience as the two continents stage their championship at the same time in Nairobi and Barcelona.

CAA President Hamad Kalkaba Malboum confirmed that they have secured up to 22 cameras to capture the action in Nairobi, which is better than in Addis Ababa, which had only 14.

"We have to improve our signal and make sure we get the right package for the media and the audience, which can compete favourably. We are improving and soon we will be where we want to be," the president said.

Malboum added that with the calibre of world beaters athletes in his camp, the world will be attracted to watch the continent of track and field that is Africa.


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