Kenyan athletes look set to better their achievement at this year’s IAAF World Championships, having never won more than two gold medals in the sprinting events at a single IAAF meet.
The event will be held in London from 4 – 13 August and will be screened live to African viewers across multiple SuperSport channels on the DStv and GOtv platforms.
DStv customers will enjoy a slice of the action on SS8 HD, Maximo, and Maximo 3 while GOtv customers will enjoy the sports events on Select 3.
In the last five years, African sprinting has gradually emerged from the vast shadows of middle-and-long distance dominance the continent is famed for. In the 15 editions of the world championships to date, Africa boasts just eight sprint gold medals, a far cry from the plus-80 amassed in middle and long-distance races.
At the center of the sprint boom has been the likes of Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, Muriel Ahoure from Ivory Coast, Kenya’s Nicholas Bett, and Boniface Mucheru; Wayde van Niekerk and Akani Simbine from South Africa and Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, among others. As the number one and number two ranked athletes in the world in the 200m, Makwala and Van Niekerk lead the charge in the quest to dethrone Usain Bolt in this event which is the world’s fastest man won’t be part of. Bolt has confirmed that he’ll only compete in the 100m and the 4x100m relay in what is his athletics swansong.
The two could also be part of an African podium sweep in the 400m with Makwala’s compatriots, Baboloki Thebe and Karabo Sibanda, set to be serious medal contenders in the one-lap race. With Bett unable to defend his 400m hurdles title, Kenya’s first-ever sprint gold in the championships, compatriot, and Olympic silver medalist Mucheru will be the favorite to bag the gold.
The supreme form is displayed by the likes of Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, Helen Obiri, David Rudisha, Nijel Amos (Botswana), Caster Semenya (South Africa), and Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia) in the past few weeks should see Africa continue its dominance in the endurance races.