Kenya postpones premier Africa athletics tour meeting

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Nairobi, May 9 (IANS) The third leg of the African Athletics Tour, which was scheduled for May 19 in Nairobi, has been postponed indefinitely.

“The CAA African Athletics Tour that was to be held on May 19 in Nairobi has been postponed to a later date that will be communicated,” Athletics Kenya said in a statement issued in Nairobi, reports Xinhua news agency.

The one day event is supposed to simulate the lucrative IAAF Diamond League.

Paul Mutwii, Athletics Kenya (AK) Senior Vice-President in Charge of Competitions, had announced that the one-day meet will only have athletes invited across the continent, who will compete in designated track and field events along the lines of the Diamond League athletics competitions.

“The objective of the event is to have athletes within the continent compete against and get to know each other because most of them hardly have time to encounter one another,” said Mutwii.

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The tour is the first pan African circuit of five meetings created by CAA in close collaboration with the federations of South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Congo.

“It is a series of one-day meetings which are organised in compliance with technical regulations designed by CAA,” said Mutwii.

The first meeting was held in Cape Town (March 22), followed by Asaba (Nigeria) on May 5. Nairobi’s turn was to be on May 19 before giving way to Brazzaville (May 26) and the finals in Addis Ababa on June 17.

This will then pave the way for the bi-annual Africa Athletics Championships, which will be held in Asaba, Nigeria in August.

The top two runners in each discipline will earn tickets to compete at the IAAF World Cup (Intercontinental Cup) in Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

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It is the only world cup contested by teams representing entire continents, rather than just those of individual countries.

Most elite track and field African stars rarely compete in their countries and CAA is keen to establish competition that will bring the best to a fest of entertainment in Africa.

–IANS

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